Karminder Pal Singh has emerged triumphant in the first race of round 3 of the MMSC Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 at Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai. Ishaan Dodhiwala settles for second despite starting from pole position; Aditya Pawar claims final position on podium. hile Ishaan was the favourite for the first race of the weekend, it was Karminder who stunned everyone with a surprise victory. With reverse grid rule applying for the second race of the weekend, it will be last year’s Junior Cup winner Pradeep Rao starting on pole position, followed by Niranjan Todkari in second, guest driver Dhruv Behl in third and Junior Cup driver Jeet Jhabakh in fourth.
As the lights went off, Ishaan got off the grid with a lot of wheel spin which allowed Karminder to get past him with the inside line on the first corner. From then on, Karminder kept his lead all the way to the chequered flag and made no mistakes that could cost him his position. Ishaan stayed on his tail for most of the race but with no success of getting past. Behind them was where the maximum action was – Keith Desouza, starting third on the grid, had a bad launch and dropped all way down to sixth position allowing Aditya, Niranjan and Jeet to get past. After exchanging positions with Niranjan on a couple of occasions, Aditya got back in third position and held it till the end. Keith made his moves from sixth to fifth on the second lap of the race itself and then up in fourth on the eighth lap. However, by then Aditya had built a strong lead which Keith was not able to challenge and had to settle in for the fourth position.
On winning the race, Karminder said, “My launch off the grid was the best today – that helped me get past Ishaan in the first corner itself. From then, I just wanted to drive a clean race and make no mistake. I went off a little bit mid-way through, but fortunately Ishaan made the same mistake and I retained my lead in the race.” Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “It was a tight competition today – the top drivers are really within a fraction of a second of each other. This is the perfect recipe for a title battle for the title.” Commenting on the improved pace, he added “In the Qualifying, we already have a lap time under 1 min 56 and I am expecting the race pace to come in the late 1 min 56 timing range tomorrow. The Madras Motor Race Track has been improved a lot. That, along with our improved Vento Cup race car with the new tyres, new suspension and its updated setup has helped us find that extra pace.”