Volkswagen has long been one of the strongest voices among the OEMs in the Indian Motorsport scene for almost a decade. Their One-make Championships have seen many young motorsport enthusiasts come up right from the grassroots. What set the Volkswagen one make series apart, however, is the way the cars are prepared and the way the young racers are taught to fully use their speed. The series started with the Polo Cup car that made some 180 hp from its 1.8-litre turbocharged motor, then moved onto the Vento that shared the same motor with the additional dynamic that comes with a boot. The most recent iteration uses the Volkswagen Ameo platform with 205 hp on tap from the same 1.8-litre Turbo-charged motor. However, Volkswagen Motorsport Boss, who has long been associated with all forms of motorsport recently said that they have now worked out a retune to 250 hp without putting stress on the engine’s tune. Which meant it was only a matter of picking the drivers for the 2019 season.
Drivers selection for the remaining 15 seats (10 drivers will be carried over from the last season) took place at the Indi Karting Track in Pune on the 9th and 10th of February 2019. Overseeing the selection process over two gruelling days was Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India Sirish Vissa along with Driver Coach Rayomand Banajee and Karting Expert Steve Hodges.
The selection process included a test that rated driving skills and fitness. The first day of the driving selection process saw Rayomand and Steve impart basic steering and braking techniques to the participants and tips on finding the ideal racing line and the need to follow it. The drivers were then given the time and opportunity to game up their skills and get used to the track. Interestingly, while outright speed would have been a factor in selecting the team at VW motorsport instead were looking for drivers that had the best driving technique and were scored out of 20 on the basis of this. Their fastest lap time and their fitness score were added together to find a suitable finalist.
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.” He further added, “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”
Going forward, the 2019 Championship will be held in more or less the same format as last year, with 10 races over the season travelling across the country covering all three of India’s racing tracks including Coimbatore, Chennai and the Buddh International at Greater Noida. The drivers would be classified in Pro and Junior category based on their experience in racing. At the end of the season, the winner of the Ameo Cup Pro category would get a sponsored seat in a higher series of racing while the winner of the Ameo Cup Junior category would get a sponsored seat in the Ameo Cup for one more year to get developed further.