ITC: Volkswagen completes clean sweep in Coimbatore
Volkswagen Motorsport India completed a clean sweep of victories in the opening round of the Indian Touring Car Championship, as the sole manufacturer on the grid comfortably outgunned privateer opposition in Coimbatore.
Following Dhurv Mohite’s victory in Race 1 yesterday, Karthik Tharani added another two wins to Volkswagen’s kitty at the Kari Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Tharani started race 2 from fifth on the grid, but made a rocketing start to take the lead into turn 1.
Mohite also managed to pass the lead pack of privateer-run cars and later indulged in a fight for victory against Tharani, the two running closely matched on the final lap.
However, multiple-national level champion Tharani managed to just hold on from last year’s Ameo Cup winner, taking the chequered flag by a slender margin of 0.343s.
Ishaan Dodhiwala, another graduate from Volkswagen’s one-make programme, finished third, making it an all-Volkswagen podium.
Volkswagen’s India arm, however, was unable to repeat the same feat in Race 3 as Ishaan Dodhiwala crashed into the barriers at turn 1 while chasing lead privateer Arjun Balu for third.
That prompted a safety car period, but Tharani and Mohite - who both had started on the front-row - were able to pull away cleanly once the SC retreated, finishing first and second respectively.
Balu crossed the line in third, securing his second podium finish of the weekend. 77-year old D Vidyaprakash took a shock fourth place finish in both races today, driving an old-generation Esteem tuned by Prime Racing.
Volkswagen’s impressive run of three victories was a massive endorsement for the new rules, which have been designed to entice manufacturer participation and modernise a series hampered by out-of-production cars.
Volkswagen is the launch partner for the new regulations, having helped devise them in association with FMSCI.
ITC: Volkswagen beats privateers in first race of new era
ITC: Balu defeats factory Volkswagen team in Race 1