The chronicles of the fifth season Volkswagen Polo R Cup kick-started with participation from several aspiring drivers nationwide. During the two-day comprehensive selection programme organized by Volkswagen Motorsport India, drivers were put through rigorous tests. Based on this, 12 drivers were chosen who would soon join the previous season’s drivers to battle for the top honours in the Polo R Cup 2014 season. The Volkswagen Polo R Cup 2014 season commenced with a two-day Drivers’ Selection round held at Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore on March 05th & 06th, 2014. Through hundreds of enquiries received, 23 participants were shortlisted for the two-day programme that had all the necessary elements for gauging the performance of the participants.
The participants were given a brief introduction of race cars with respect to the modifications done to the car for performance as well as safety along with familiarization of controls. The participants were then put into the cars for braking and slalom exercises where their basic control on car and responsiveness were judged. Following these, exercises were driving sessions around the full circuit under the guidance of Polo R Cup driver coach and multi – National Karting Champion, Rayomand Banajee. After getting enough information on racing lines, braking markers and other essential aspects of track driving, the participants were sent out for two timed sessions. At the end of the day, 16 out of 23 drivers were selected for the next day based on not only their lap times but also their consistency, racing lines, ability to tackle corners with technique and driving smoothness.
The selected 16 drivers were put through four more driving sessions on the second day where they were yet again judged on various aspects. The most important criteria for selecting the final 12 was the willingness and readiness of the drivers to grasp and implement what the coaches had been teaching in addition to the criteria that were implemented the earlier day. All the participants were judged on various attributes like braking techniques, acceleration, racing lines, aggression and fitness abilities. The lap times were also given consideration in the final selection process. At the end of the second day, all the drivers were put through a fitness test which included muscle-strength exercises, cardio exercises and running. This was the final factor counting in for the selection.
Commenting on the occasion of Polo R Cup 2014 Driver Selection, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsports India, added, “This year we are going further in depth with driver development. Through the Drivers’ selection programme , we have handpicked the ones who have not only shown good pace in driving around a circuit, but also showcased hunger to learn what the driver coach had been teaching. Along with that, we will also be focusing deeper on physical and mental fitness of the drivers throughout the season.”
The selected 12 drivers from the Drivers’ Selection Round for Volkswagen Polo R Cup 2014:
- Anindith Reddy, Hyderabad
- Karminder Singh, New Delhi
- Utsav Shah, Ahmedabad
- Prabhanjan, Hyderabad
- Bonnie Thomas, Thodapuza
- Hari Kesav, Bangalore
- Mahatru Krishnamuthy, Chennai
- Arjun Bir, Bangalore
- Ishan Dodhiwala, Hyderabad
- Prashant Vats, Faridabad
- Amlandeep Bora, Dibrugarh
- Ebin Divakar, Bangalore