Competitive driving for the Volkswagen Motorsport India Vento Cup 2016 started off today with the Qualifying session for Race 1 of the weekend. The cool and cloudy conditions in Coimbatore at the Kari Motor Speedway allowed the drivers to push their cars to the limits. Ishaan Dodhiwala stormed to a stunning pole position on his first fast lap itself and clocked a lap time of 1 min 10.087 sec. After having stayed out for less than half of the session, Ishaan returned to the pits confident of the performance he had already put in.
Commenting on the first pole position of the season, Ishaan said, “I had a good feeling right from the pre-season test into the free practice sessions. The car was feeling good and I was confident of the timing I had put in right at the beginning. The conditions were good for driving today and I hope it stays like this for the races tomorrow.” He further added, “My target for tomorrow will be to have a good start and carry the pace that I have had over the last week into the races.”
While Ishaan was at his best, Keith Desouza went on to clinch the second position on the grid with a fastest lap time of 1 min 11.018 sec, 0.931 second behind pole-setter Ishaan. Coming in at a very close third position was last year’s Vento Cup Runner-Up Karminder Pal Singh with a fastest lap time of 1 min 11.288 sec. Former Polo Cup driver Aditya Pawar, who returned to racing this season after a break of couple of years, clocked 1 min 11.608 sec to take the fourth spot.
Jeet Jhabakh, who debuts this weekend with his first ever race tomorrow, put up an impressive lap of 1 min 11.628 sec to clinch the fifth spot on the grid. Talking about his experience in the Volkswagen Motorsport programme, Jeet said, “The Vento Cup race cars are just great to drive. The pre-season test helped me a lot to understand the track, the car and the lines that I should be taking. Driver Coach Rayomand Banajee and fellow drivers played an instrumental role in making me understand the fine bits of getting faster out there. I am looking forward for a good set of races tomorrow.”