Back for its third edition, the Volkswagen Ameo Cup is among India's leading one-make touring car championships.
With nearly 1,600 registrations and over 125 shortlisted participants, the driver selection round of the Volkswagen Ameo Cup 2019 recorded the highest number of entries in the one-make championship's history. The driver selections for the 2019 championship took place at the IndiKarting Track in Kharadi, Pune on 9th and 10th February 2019. Under the keen eyes of eight-time national champion and racing coach Rayomand Banajee, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India Sirish Vissa and karting expert Steve Hodges, participants drove multiple karting sessions to prove their track skills and also underwent a thorough fitness test conducted by Volkswagen Motorsport India's new fitness partner, Multifit.
The selection process began with the first day being dedicated entirely to practice. Proceedings began with Rayomand and Steve imparting basic steering and braking techniques to the participants and tips on finding the ideal racing line and the need to follow it. The participants then took to the track to practice the above-mentioned skills with various driving aids and markers placed at the track. This also allowed the participants to polish their lap times while getting used to the karts and the track itself.
On the second day, trainers from Multifit conducted a quick warm-up session for the participants, followed by a fitness drill which tested the participants on various fitness parameters like endurance, stamina, cardio and strength. Once the fitness scores had been assigned to each participant, it was time for the two driving rounds of the day which would determine the final scoring assessment of all participants. While the first round took place to record a driver's fastest possible lap time, the second round took place under the supervision of Rayomand Banajee, Sirish Vissa and Steve Hodges who scored each driver out of 20 points each, based on the driving techniques, appreciation of racing lines and on-track discipline. Every driver’s fastest lap time and ultimately the fitness scores were also added up to decide the final scores for each participant, with a maximum of 75 points up for grabs (60 - driving; 10 - lap time; 5 - fitness).
Based on the final scores, 15 drivers were selected for the championship with the next 10 making it to the list of reserve drivers. 5-10 drivers from the previous season too, have expressed their desire to compete in the 2019 championship.
Sharing his thoughts on this year's selection round, Mr Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, 'Volkswagen Motorsport India is proud to announce that we are entering our 10th year with a bang. We received the highest number of online registrations for drivers’ selection in the history of Volkswagen Motorsport India.'
'Rayomand, Steve and I judged the drivers on a wide range of parameters like driving technique, their racing lines and the ability to follow-up on coach’s instructions. I would like to congratulate all the new drivers shortlisted through the selection process and wish them all the luck for the upcoming season of Ameo Cup,' he further added.
The format of the Volkswagen Ameo Cup 2019 will remain the same as last year's championship. The 2019 season will comprise of 10 races throughout the season which will take place at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore, the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai and the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which will host the final round of the championship. The participants will compete in three categories: Junior, Pro and Overall (depending on previous motorsport experience). At the end of the season, the winner of the Ameo Cup Pro category will get a sponsored seat in a higher series of racing while the winner of the Ameo Cup Junior category will be entitled to a fully-sponsored seat in the Ameo Cup for one more year to get developed further.