Volkswagen hoping to get first Vento ITC customer in 2019
Volkswagen Motorsport India boss Sirish Vissa is “fairly confident” that at least one customer Vento will compete in the Indian Touring Car Championship (ITC) this year.
In a bid to modernise the ITC, which is flooded with out-of-production cars such as the Suzuki Esteem, FMSCI introduced a new set of regulations last year to bring contemporary machinery into the series.
Volkswagen, which had played a key role in formation of those regulations, was the first manufacturer to support the move, fielding a slew of factory-entered Ventos in 2018.
Buoyed by the success, the company now expects to sell at least one car to a privateer for the upcoming season.
“I am quite confident that we’ll have at least one customer car in the sport maybe this year, hopefully more,” Vissa told Motorsport.com India. “But sure in the future we’ll have a few more.”
Arjun Balu leads Arjun Narendran
Photo by: Anand Philar
Despite being encouraged by interests from customers, Volkswagen will continue to compete in ITC as a factory team this year, with one entry confirmed for 2018 Ameo Cup champion Dhruv Mohite and another under evaluation.
Vissa says Volkswagen has an obligation to support the new regulations until sufficient number of TC4-A cars - from both VW and other manufacturers - are present on the grid.
“Yes, we we will still run a few cars from the factory because I think we need to still reinforce the turbo class and we need to convince people more that this is the way for the future,” Vissa said.
“So until we are at the stage where we’ve got a lot more people running turbo-charged cars and competing, we would like to support the class.
“It’s only fair that we do our part because FMSCI has put forward a set of regulations that our I would say are very forward thinking we need to support that, we need to do more of this in the future.
“So unless we support it and put our money where our mouth is I think it’s not going to happen.
“So yes we’ll run a couple of cars from the factory for sure and one of them for sure will be with Dhruv Mohite and the other car we’ll see who we put in that depending upon how things go in the next couple of months.”
2019 is an important year for the evolution of ITC as the older generation cars and the new TC4-A machines will be categorised under one unified class for the first time.
As such, the Vento will be able to compete for the overall win.
“If you look at the races we had last year there was actually quite a good parity between the two classes because we ran two separate races concurrently,” Vissa explained.
“Where you had the TC4-A race with turbo-charged cars and an ITC race, both running together.
“When you look at it the ITC Ventos and the top three, top four of the ITCs cars were all sort of dicing together. That means that where we started in terms of framing the regulations it’s actually quite spot on.
“This year having one unified class will avoid all the drama that we had last year. I think it will make life just easier for everybody and I think it will hopefully convince more people and hopefully more manufacturers to get involved.”
Volkswagen Vento TC4-A
Photo by: Volkswagen Motorsport