Volkswagen Motorsport India made strides in the National Drag Racing Championship with its Ameo Cup Race Car. The race machine predominantly prepared to nurture young racing talent in the country with its one make circuit racing series – Ameo Cup 2017, adds another accolade to its name. The Ameo Cup Race Car participated in the Round 1 of the unrestricted category of the MMSC FMSCI National Drag Racing Championship held in Chennai over the weekend. Rayomand Banajee piloted the Ameo Cup Race Car and awed the competition with an unexpected third place finish.
The Ameo Cup Race Car designed and developed primarily for the one-make circuit racing series underwent minor reconfiguration to get a quick launch off the line. Apart from the minor tweaks and no other modification the Cup Car was not the favorite to win. The underdog – Ameo Cup Race Car’s with its heavy shell as compared to the competitions’ extremely light and fast cars prepared solely for drag racing challenged the underlying concept of drag racing.
The format of a drag race has 2 cars lined up besides each other at the beginning of a straight track. A set of lights known as a Christmas Tree illuminate once the racers are ready & in position. The moment the light turns green, the racers attempt to clock the fastest possible time over a quarter mile (402 meters). The winner is the racer who has the fastest total time which is a combination of the racer’s reaction time to the lights turning green, plus the total time taken by the car to cover the quarter mile. Cars are segregated into various categories depending on their cubic capacity (CC), type of engine, etc. The unrestricted category is the most prestigious where essentially all cars compete against each other without any restrictions of any sort.
The fastest time of the event was set by Pratap Jayaram. His highly modified Reva with a Hayabusa engine, saw him clock a total time of 13.102 seconds. Joel Joseph in a highly modified Honda City clocked the second fastest overall time of 14.184 seconds, closely followed by Rayomand with a total time of 14.364 seconds. Interestingly, Rayomand also recorded the fastest reaction time of the entire event at 0.502 seconds only.
Rayomand, an eight-time Formula Racing and Karting Champion and Driver Coach for Ameo Cup 2017 season, got behind the steering wheel in the unrestricted category. Upon taking the final spot on the podium he said, “It has been 9 years since my last race, which I incidentally won at this very track. I never imagined my next podium would be in a Drag Race! The entire thing started off as a fun thing. I really must thank Volkswagen Motorsport India for the effort they put in. The Ameo Cup Race Car is a brilliant & definitely the best touring race car in India right now. Even more amazing is the fact that it has all been developed at Volkswagen Pune facility.”
Mr. Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “At such a short notice, our engineers worked hard to reconfigure the ECU settings on the Ameo Cup Race Car to ensure maximum acceleration at launch. Once again the race machine has proved its potential and caliber in one race weekend by challenging the ITCs and then taking the podium in the unrestricted category of the Drag Racing Championship. Such accomplishments are testimony to the superior built of the race car formulated locally by our engineers.”
The next round of the National Drag Racing Championship will be conducted on 19th & 20th of August in Chennai.