The season’s finale of Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 would take place at India’s only Formula One track – Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida from September 30 – October 02, 2016. Volkswagen Motorsport India in association with Madras Motor Sport Club (MMSC) runs its premium one-make touring car racing series Vento Cup as a part of the 2016 FMSCI Indian Racing championship.
The Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 Season
The 2016 season of Volkswagen Vento Cup comprise of ten races across four rounds hosted at three race tracks in India — Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore; Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai and Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida.
Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 commenced with Round 1 in June this year at KMS Circuit, Coimbatore. It was followed by Round 2 and 3 in July and August respectively at MMRT Chennai Race Tracks. The season will conclude with the action back home at Buddh International Circuit here in Greater Noida.
The Top Contenders
Hyderabad’s Ishaan Dodhiwala with 408 points builds a strong 32-points lead over New Delhi’s Karminder Pal Singh at 376 points. With three podium finishes including two victories, Ishaan gets one more step closer to the Vento Cup 2016 title. On the weekend race Ishaan will take the pole position while Karminder would be second on the grid. Fight for third position too is tight with only 24 points separating Keith Desouza at 324 points and Niranjan Todkari with 300 points.
Debutant and Junior Driver Jeet Jhabakh has impressed one and all with his quick learning and impressive results to stand fifth in the overall tally. Jeet Jhabakh with 220 points sits at fifth position in the overall points table. He leads amongst the Junior Drivers’ comfortably while almost cementing a sponsored place in the next year’s Volkswagen Motorsport season.
In Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 the drivers are divided into three major categories- Junior, Pro and Master.
Junior: Drivers aging between 16 and 26, with racing experience of 0-8 car races within the last 5 years
Pro: Drivers aging between 16 and 26 years, with racing experience of more than 8 races within the last 5 years
Master: Drivers above 26 years of age. Racing experience doesn’t matter in this category.
Overall 1st runner up
Overall second runner up
Champion of Junior category
Participation Fees (Exclusive of all Taxes)
Junior and Pro category: INR 8,00,000 (exclusive of all taxes)
Master category: INR 12,00,000 (exclusive of all taxes)
Foreign drivers: INR 14,00,000 (exclusive of all taxes)
All participating cars in this one make series are technically identical with the same performance making it possible for only the most skilled drivers to leave an impact.
Volkswagen Motorsports introduced the Vento Cup car with petrol TSI engine in 2015. The same race-car is being used this season after incorporating the facelift introduced in the regular Vento a year ago.
MRF is the new tyre partners for this season of Volkswagen Vento Cup after their departure from the JK Tyre Racing Championship, an association since their inaugural season in 2010.
Twenty ace racers from the national pool form the grid of the Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016. Eight drivers were from previous seasons of Volkswagen Motorsport India’s Vento Cup and Polo Cup. While twelve of them are new drivers, selected after a rigorous screening process, at Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016.
The selection process began in January 2016 across seven cities through various go-karting events. It gathered an overwhelming response receiving over 560 entries from across the country and lasted for over 45 days. Out of these 560 entries, 62 racers made the final cut of the selection process and were invited to Pune’s Indi Karting Track for a two-day final selection process. After being judged on various criteria such as fitness, driving skills, grasping and learning ability and discipline, final 12 were selected for the season. Some of them later backed out and were replaced with the drivers on the waiting list.
At Buddh International Circuit a total of 17 of the earlier selected 20 will be participating in the one make series of Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016.
The final drivers of the 2016 season at BIC: Abhishek Vakil(Mumbai), Niranjan Todkari (Pune), Ishaan Dodhiwala (Hyderabad), Arunshowry Vallabhaneni (New Delhi), Eswar Bolisetti (Visakhapatanam), Pradeep Rao (Mumbai), Gowdham Murugan (Coimbatore), Keith Desouza (Goa), Arfath Mohammed (Chennai), Venkat Teja (Chennai), Aditya Pawar (Mumbai), Hatim Shabbir (Chennai), Karminder Singh (New Delhi), Rajeev Srivastava (Rewa, Madhya Pradesh), Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad), Amit Mete (Aurangabad), Rashad Khan (Pune).
Volkswagen Motorsport India Racing program
Volkswagen Motorsport India, since its inception in 2009, notably has been involved in the goal to develop and nurture young talent. It offers to coach drivers every year and provide them with a strong and robust platform like the Vento Cup. So far over 75 racing drivers in India have been groomed and given international exposure through global programs to the champions.
The Back Story
Volkswagen Motorsport India commenced operations with the Polo Cup India in 2010. The series started off with a first- ever iconic race being held at Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi in Pune, the hometown of Volkswagen in India on May 30, 2010 in a street race format.
The third instalment of Polo R Cup India 2012 witnessed a major change under the hood. In a major overhaul the diesel TDI, 1.6-litre engines was replaced by the new petrol TSI engines and DSG Gearboxes. In 2015, Volkswagen Motorsports introduced the Vento Cup car, which carried over the same drivetrain from the outgoing Polo R Cup. As per a news release the same race-car is being used this season, albeit incorporating the FIA-prescribed safety features including roll-cage, racing seat, six-point harness, fire extinguisher etc in the regular Vento a year ago.
Inputs from the official website Volkswagen Motorsport India