Pune: The picturesque Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore is all set for the opening round of Volkswagen Ameo Cup over the weekend as 20 drivers from all over the country will battle it out for the top honours, burning the rubber on tarmac.
The 20 drivers for Volkswagen Ameo Cup were short-listed from over 500 entries across India following a selection process that also involved evaluation of the aspirant’s fitness, driving skills and discipline. Out of 20 entrants, eight are from previous season’s Vento Cup and Polo Cup.
During the season, more international racing drivers are expected to make appearances as guest drivers for single rounds as a part of exchange programme run by Volkswagen Motorsport globally, as two drivers from Bangladesh will take part in the opening round.
This year Volkswagen Motorsports has stepped up by introducing the powerful Ameo car which replaces the Vento of last season. The Ameo is powered by a 1.8-litre, turbocharged TSI petrol engine that produces 205hp, and equipped with a six-speed racing sequential gearbox with steering-mounted paddle shifters. The car also runs on new 17-inch wheels fitted with MRF tyres.
Nat’l Racing C’ship to begin
MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship of Indian Saloon Cars will also get underway on Saturday along with Volkswagen Ameo Cup.
A dozen entries, headlined by reigning champion Arjun Narendran of Coimbatore, will form the grid for the triple-header in the premiere Indian Touring Cars class.
Narendran, winner of eight of the 10 races last season, will be again leading the challenge for Red Rooster Racing team. As in the past, he will have to contend with competition from Bengaluru’s Race Concepts and Mumbai’s Team N1 besides Chennai outfits Performance Racing and RAD Racing.
Also in the hunt will be two Coimbatore-based veterans of the Prime Racing team who include Vidyaprakash, who at 72 has completed over 50 years in racing and B Vijayakumar who developed the Kari Motor Speedway. The pair has been carrying the flag for the old-timers and are still fiercely competitive.