30 July 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Maiden victory for Rahil Noorani in
round 2 of Volkswagen Polo R Cup 2011

Rahil Noorani won his first Volkswagen Polo R Cup 2011 race in round 2 of the championship, held over 17-18 July at Coimbatore. The 21 year-old rookie driver beat championship leader Vishnu Prasad into third place (from a ninth-place start), ahead of Ajay Kini from Bangalore. Noorani had a great start and led into the first corner ahead of Kini and Avdumbder Hede. Oshan Kothadiya from Pune fought Kini for a podium place, ultimately losing out to Prasad. Commenting on his first victory, winner Rahil Noorani said: ‘It feels great to win. I qualified on pole and the only thing on my mind was to lead into the first corner and take it from there. I stayed focussed, which helped me to win the race.’

Prithviraj Siddappa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, was pleased with the result: ‘Another great race to start off round 2. It was an action-packed race and it was good to see different winners on the podium. It is great to see drivers giving more attention in analysing their data to see where they can improve. This shows the drivers are enthusiastic and determined to do well in this championship. The Polo Race cars are performing greatly, and we are very happy with the performance and efficiency of their engines.’ The 2011 Volkswagen Polo Cup India is run by Volkswagen India Motorsport in conjunction with JK Tyres. The field of 20 young racers drive identical and centrally-prepared 129bhp TDI Polo R Cup racing cars.

Race 2 saw many crashes, collisions and high-speed spins which saw the lead change hands a number of times. A reverse grid start saw race 1 winner Noorani roll from eighth position, with Prasad ahead in sixth. Mihir Dharkar from Mumbai took pole position, although an unfortunate spin dashed his hopes of holding onto the lead until the end of the race. The lead was passed to Kothadia, closely tailed by Prasad. A safety car outing saw Prasad close in on the leaders and on the tenth lap, he passed Kothadia to take pole and win the race. Kothadia then forced Noorani into a spin with three laps to go, but both drivers ended up on podium in second and third places respectively. Round 3 of the Volkswagen Polo R Cup 2011 will take place on 19-21 August at the Irungattukottai Race Track in Chennai.

[Image: Rahul Basu/zigwheels.com]

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22 June 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Prasad double victory in Volkswagen Polo R Cup India 2011 season opener

It’s undergone a name change since we last reported on it, but the Polo R Cup India 2011 (formerly the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2011) is still essentially the same formula as before. While the name may owe something to the 300bhp Polo R WRC world rally championship car announced back in May (and possibly lend even more credence to the Polo R road car rumours), the Polo R Cup India racers are essentially unchanged from the 2010 cars. That means 130bhp, 1.6-litre TDI engines, and a low 1090kg weight, in addition to body styling modifications and racing technical upgrades.

The first rounds of the 2011 championship kicked off the season on 19 June at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. It was a perfect weekend for Vishnu Prasad, winning both races. The first victory was straightforward enough, taking the chequered flag from pole position, while the 19 year-old Chennai driver took the podium in the second race starting from eighth position and worked his way up the 20-strong grid. Mihir Dharkar and Saif Mir took second and third places respectively in the first round.

A reverse grid for the second race gave Alisha Abdullah – the only female driver – a pole position which she held on to for 10 laps. Pressure from her charging rivals Prasad and Mihir Dharkar ousted her from the top spot, but a third place and a step on the podium was reward enough. It was also the first podium finish for a female driver on the Volkswagen Polo R Cup India. Prasad goes to the next rounds (once again at the Kari Motor Speedway at Coimbatore) on 15 July with a six-point lead over Dharkar.

Prithviraj Siddappa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, said of the second race: ‘It was one of the most exciting races I have experienced as we kick off the second season of Polo R Cup. It was a spectacular race and I am very happy to see Alisha on the podium. The driving witnessed today is proof that we have the crème of the young Indian motorsport talent as part of our programme. I am really thrilled to be a part of their journey as they develop as drivers over the course of the Polo R Cup 2011.’

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