Pune’s Sonawane grabs pole ahead of leader Dhruv

Amol Gokhale
Sunday, 7 October 2018

First Pole position is always a special feeling for any driver. On Saturday, Pune’s Pratik Sonawane lapped a 5.1km Buddh International Circuit at a blistering pace to stun one and all on the grid to bag the Pole position in the final round of Volkswagen Ameo Cup here on Saturday.

Greater Noida: First Pole position is always a special feeling for any driver. On Saturday, Pune’s Pratik Sonawane lapped a 5.1km Buddh International Circuit at a blistering pace to stun one and all on the grid to bag the Pole position in the final round of Volkswagen Ameo Cup here on Saturday.

The 25-year-old driver, who topped the charts in the practice session as well, completed his flying lap with a timing of 1 minute, 21:295 seconds, 0.583 seconds ahead of the championship leader Dhruv Mohite.
Kolhapur driver, Mohite, recorded 2 minutes, 21:878 seconds and was eight tenths quicker than his closest title rival Saurav Bandyopadhyay, who came home fourth and will start on the second row.

“I did all the basics right and that’s how I managed to snatch the Pole,” said the elated Pune driver, who was congratulated by the rest of the grid as he expressed his feelings. “I have missed out on few podiums this season but the hard work has paid off.”

“It is going to be a 10-lap race, which we have never done here before, hence managing the tyres is also going to be a crucial part. But overall, I am happy with my timings today and I am going to go for the win tomorrow (Sunday),” added Sonawane.

On the other hand, Mohite was quite surprised by the pace showed by his rival but remained focused on the race, as for him, winning the title is a priority, than the extraordinary pace of Sonawane.

“Pratik did a fantastic job, no doubt about it. I gained four-tenths over my own time from yesterday, and on top of that still being behind by almost six-tenths of a second is an embarrassment,” the 20-year-old driver said.
“Having said that, we will analyse the data overnight and see where we can improve, as doing one fast lap is different than a doing a 10-lap race. My focus will be on winning the first race and seal the championship,” he further added.

Come Sunday, Pratik will definitely feel the pressure from the championship leader, while Dhruv will be eager to keep Saurav will be ready to pounce on any mistake by the front-runners.

Results:
Qualifying: 1. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) 2min 21.295secs; 2. Dhruv Mohite (Kolhapur) 2:21.878; 3. Dhruv Behl (Delhi) 2:22.306.

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