Coimbatore: Dhruv Mohite’s patience paid off well on the narrow track of Kari Motor Speedway as he stayed at arm’s length from incidents that forced the Race 2 of Volkswagen Ameo Cup first red-flagged and then yellow flags brought in the Safety Car towards the end, underlining the very essence of racing.
Having won the Race 1 on Saturday, Dhruv started eighth from Pole in the reverse grid format, but that was hardly a hurdle for the Kolhapur racer as he gradually overtook the traffic ahead and by the end of fifth lap he was already in lead.
Dhruv dominated the Ameo Cup double-header by achieving a double showing impressive pace in winning Sunday’s race from Affan Sadat Safwan Islam from Chitagong, Bangladesh and Thane’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay. The race was reduced from the scheduled 15 laps to 12 following incidents that ate away the crucial track time.
Devangere’s Shivani Pruthvi, one of the only two women in the field, found herself in an unlikely pole position. Shivani had finished eighth in Race 1 and that handed her lead in the front row and she did held on to the challenge for the first four laps before Dhruv passed her to take the lead.
“It was a pressure position to lead the race. I never expected to be in that position but it was fun to be there. The feeling was enormous,” said Pruthvi, who is pursuing medical course and not sure where she would be in racing in years to come.
Once Dhruv was in front he began to open up the gap and on the sixth lap while he approached C4 he saw Manj Yanamdala flip over the tyre fence and he immediately knew the race was up to be red-flagged.
“I saw the red flag coming out. On the hindsight it was unfortunate that the incident happened, but you learn from such happenings,” Dhruv told Sakal Times.
“To drive an already revved up and hot car from the grid again was a challenge. The restart was a bit tricky because we lost three laps due to stoppage and then another incident at the C1 happened just after the sweeping straight,” is how Dhruv explained the incidents that marred the race.
“We have had a truly exciting race with a lot of jostling amongst the drivers. The technical team have performed brilliant over the course of the weekend. While the MRF tyres have performed reliably despite changing weather conditions over the last three days,” said Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India.
Volkswagen Ameo Cup:
Race 2 (12 laps): 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kohlapur) 16 minutes 05.547 seconds; 2. Affan Sadat Safwan (Chittagong) 16:10.334; 3. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) 16:10.930; Akshay Bhivshet (Goa) 16:19.654; 5. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) 16:20.230.