In the first & only Ameo Class race that ran today, polesitter Saurav Bandyopadhyay (#4) emerged victorious, followed by Shubhomoy Ball (#19) in P2 & Pratik Sonawane (#7) in P3.
Round 4 of the MRF Indian National Car Racing Championship played host to Round 3 of the Volkswagen Championship, more commonly referred to as the Ameo Class. The Ameo Class competitors once again found themselves back at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai for Round 3. While Round 2 consisted of two races over a dry & rain-free weekend, the same could not be said about today's round. Inclement weather conditions caused by incessant rainfall delayed the proceedings by numerous hours. However, the Ameo Class, which was scheduled to run a single race today, managed to do so successfully.
After securing one victory each in Round 2, Saurav Bandyopadhyay (#4) & Pratik Sonawane (#7) had become the championship top-runners, with the latter taking the top spot with 204 points. Saurav, on the other hand, wasn't too far away from the top spot with 187 points. Determined to bring this deficit down, Bandyopadhyay opened Round 3 of the championship with a solid victory today. As mentioned above, the day proved to be extremely challenging for all competitors as the track was riddled with puddles of water, which made it difficult for the drivers to maintain heat in their tyres. With recurring showers, the practice & qualifying sessions proved to be pretty chaotic. By the time of the race, however, the track became substantially dry and the drivers chose to run on slick tyres, instead of intermediates.
Right from the start of the race, polesitter Bandyopadhyay & second-placed Shubhomoy Ball were in a fight of their own. Due to a mediocre qualifying session, Sonawane was not quite able to make his mark, because of which, he could only manage to qualify fifth. Therefore, the fight for the final spot on the podium was amongst Sonawane, Ayush Tainwala (#18) & Siddharth Mehdiratta (#9). However, despite good qualifying spots, both newcomers failed to impress as a few laps in, both their cars emerged onto the main straight with significant damage. Therefore, in no time, Sonawane found himself running in third-place and ultimately finished the race in the same position.
While this brings both the championship contenders closer than ever, there are still two more races to go in Round 3 before we can figure out who has a firm hold on this year's championship. Add to it the dodgy weather conditions and there is no saying who will win in the coming two races.