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Old 18th October 2011, 14:57   #1
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Default Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

About Polo R Cup:

The JK Tyre Volkswagen Polo R Cup India 2011 is a single make road racing championship which is held under the Indian National Road Racing Championship. The series runs modified VW Polo's. 20 young talented drivers are selected from all over India for the series. All 20 cars are identically prepared and the onus is completely on driver skill. For more information: Volkswagen Polo Cup India

About Me:
I always had an interest in Motorsport. I used to be good at rental go-karting and also took part in several local races. But never quite pursued it as a career path. Engineering was where my passion lied and I took up Mechanical Engineering as my study choice. But being a petrol-head, I joined my college's Formula Student team and it consumed my life for the next three years.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...tml#post969906 (Report: Orion Racing India at Formula Student Germany 2008)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post1672434 (Young Talent at the Auto Expo 2010)


It all changed with AutoExpo 2010. There, I saw the Polo Cup car at the Volkswagen pavilion and couldn't take my eyes off it. There was this voice inside me that come what may, I just have to drive this car. I applied on their website, breezed through the selection process and was selected as a driver for the 2010 season. I had achieved my goal, but ahead of me lied a full season of the Polo Cup. I was an absolute rookie in one of the most competitive racing series in India.

That is how it all started and 2010 was a good season for me. I achieved one win and had a good standing in the championship considering my rookie status. It was a steep learning curve for me but I ended the season happy and satisfied. The racing bug had bitten me. I decided to do one more season and here I am driving in the Polo R Cup India 2011. My wish is to make this my career.


This is a personal diary account of my experience at round 5 of the Polo R Cup 2011.

Arrived at Chennai with high hopes from the weekend. I had started from pole position in round 4 and gone home with a trophy for second place. The aim for this weekend was to improve that performance and get a race win. The weather report said that there was a chance for rain and I was excited because I just love the rain tyres. I am somehow more comfortable with them than with the Racing slicks.



Day 1:


Arrived on a dry track on Friday morning, finished the briefing and the driver's weight-in. I met up with the mechanics and other staff (a very friendly and lively bunch BTW). Learned that Gaurav Dalal would be the guest driver this weekend. I have always heard about him, so it was a great feeling meeting him personally. He is multiple times Formula Swift Champion and an experienced racer with a very successful racing career. It is always good to have a guest driver of this caliber, as we get to learn from him and the feeling of trying to match up with a veteran on track is bliss.

Practice 1:


I had decided that I will just do a couple of slow laps (similar to installation runs that we see in Formula 1), only to make sure there is nothing wrong with the car and save my tires. Came back in happy to know that the car was all fine. I checked out what lap times the other drivers put in, and there was nothing out of the usual. The top drivers hold back a bit in practice to improve tyre life. They can afford to do that because, they have mastered the track and the car. The lower grid usually pushes along because the extra tire life probably won't give them as much of an advantage as they could find by improving their skills.

Practice 2:


After a good and filling lunch, we noticed that the sky was filled up with dark clouds and soon it started raining. I could not control my happiness, this is just what I had been waiting for. But the rain went away soon after, and left us with a damp but drying track. So, out we go on wet tires (grooved tyres). I had decided to do just one fast lap and conserve my tyres. The rain tyres heat up quite a lot on a partially dry track and start loosing grip soon after. So, had to conserve my tyres just incase we have wet races or qualifying. Did my fast lap, which was decently quick but could not control my urge to do one more fast lap. I was just enjoying the feedback from the grooved tyres and having some serious fun on track. The second lap was faster than the first. I pushed on for one more lap, but realized that the grip was fading away. Finally, good sense dawned on me and I returned to the pits. I had gone with a "Hard anti-roll bar setting" expecting a dry session, but this setting puts a lot of energy into the tyres; the wet tyres overheat quickly on a dry track, thus loosing grip. I was third quickest in the session, which was quite satisfactory. I knew I had some time left in my driving and also in the vehicle set-up, so wasn't particularly worried. This was the end of Day 1 (Friday). Went back to the hotel satisfied with the day's progress. It was time to analyze the data collected from the car and view the on-board videos to see some obvious mistakes and also some fun (read scary) moments I had out on track.

Day 2:


It was a clear day and no rain was expected. Day 2 is a very important day because qualifying is crucial, especially in a single make series (A series where all cars are equal, like the Polo R Cup). I had a good third practice session, again a top 5 time. I put new tires in the front for qualifying. We are allotted 6 tires for the weekend and have to manage all sessions within the quota. On my first hot lap in qualifying I immediately noticed that something was not quite right, the front was lacking in grip and the car was under steering more than expected. I had to live with it and make the most of what I had. I continued on a second flying lap and nursed the car around the track as fast as I could. Taking care to manage the under steer and induce a bit of over steer so as to keep the car as balanced as possible. I returned to the pits then to cool the tires off. With a few minutes remaining in the session, I returned to the track for a second set of fast laps. But I could not match my earlier time because the sun had been heating up the track and thus the grip had reduced considerably. The session was over and I was disappointed. I knew I could have achieved more. I assumed I would be down the grid in an uncompetitive position. Luckily, I was still quick enough to qualify 5th on the grid. The driver who had qualified 2nd had to serve a 10 place grid penalty due to a safety car infringement he had from the previous race. Thus, I would be starting 4th on the grid. I returned to the hotel with mixed emotions. I was happy to be 4th, but disappointed because I believe I could have achieved more. But, all that was behind me now and I had to concentrate on the races on day 3 and make the best of what I had. I spent the night imagining and rehearsing every possible scenario that could happen in the race and my reaction to it. This helps you to be calm in the races and think clearer.



Day 3:


Race day. Again a clear day and no sign of rains. I lined up on the grid in 4th position. There was a bit of nervousness (as there is always), but it was overshadowed by determination and a drive to do well and be on the podium. I had shifted the front tires which I had used in qualifying to the rear wheels because I did not want to risk the under steering situation again. If anything was really wrong with the tires, it would cause less grip in the rear which is manageable with race-spec Polos.

Race 1:


I had a very good start and moved into third position. But I had a big squeeze from another competitor at the third corner and thus had to brake very hard to avoid hitting into him. This resulted in lost momentum for me and 2 competitors passed me on the following straight. Thus I ended up in 5th. The suspect tire was causing a bit more over steer than i had assumed so I had to be cautious not to spin out. This cautious approach resulted in another car overtaking me and pushing me back to 6th position. Then, after a couple of laps, the tires suddenly came to life and I was back at my usual pace. Unfortunately, I could not catch up to the cars in front and ended the race in 6th position. I was not very satisfied with the result but all was not lost. I would be starting Race 2 in 3rd position on account of the reverse grid : The starting grid of Race 2 is decided by the Race 1 results, but with the top eight cars reversed, i.e. The winner starts from eighth position and the driver who finished eighth starts from first position.

Race 2:


The second race is always exciting, because the quickest cars start from lower down the grid, and have to overtake the slower cars to come back up the grid. I had a bad start and was pushed down to 6th place at the start itself. The driver in second position was slow and was blocking the cars behind him, so there was a train of cars from 2nd position down to 8th position. A lot of close racing was happening up and down the grid. I had to think about overtaking the car in front while also take care that the car behind does not overtake me. It was a lot of fun. After a couple of laps, there was an incident in front of me and that allowed me to overtake 2 cars, thus I ended up in 4th position. The car in 5th was right on my tail and I had to defend my position for almost 5 to 6 laps. Later, he tried to overtake me but lost control and spun out. I felt bad for him but was relieved to have escaped from his attack. Finally crossed the line in 4th. The driver who finished first (Gaurav Dalal) was a guest driver, and is not eligible for championship points. Thus, I secured points equivalent to finishing 3rd. A trophy and prize money would be most welcome but I cannot complain. The weekend ended with a great party and I come back home satisfied with the results, yet hungry for more. It was a really fun weekend with action packed but clean racing.



Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-5-.jpg

Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-6-.jpg

My car no. 6
Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-3-.jpg

Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-4-.jpg

Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-1-.jpg

Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-2-.jpg

Drivers Posing for a photo shoot (for the 2012 Calender)
Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-9-.jpg

The gorgeous Polo Cup support truck
Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai-polo-cup-rd.5-7-.jpg

The data which is obtained from the car. Here, two drivers are being compared:
Name:  data comparison.jpg
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Last edited by GTO : 20th October 2011 at 12:14. Reason: Taking public
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:16   #2
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Motorsports forum. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your performance!
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Old 20th October 2011, 14:21   #3
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Smile Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
The data which is obtained from the car. Here, two drivers are being compared:
Hi Jalsa, thanks for the detailed narrative, made for interesting reading, especially the telemetry data. Is this data from an entire lap ?

Name:  MMST_PoloCup_TrackData.png
Views: 6409
Size:  317.3 KB

The comparison data is very interesting - so which driver is quicker (?), the red one or the black one ?

It'd be great if you could provide some details regarding driving around the track itself - the surface, corners, lines, braking points, & off-track excursions.

Wishing you even greater success in the remaining rounds of the Polo Cup
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Old 20th October 2011, 15:20   #4
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Hey Srini, Thanks for the great graphic.
One correction though, where you've shown corner 6 is corner 5 actually. Corner 6 is where you've shown corner 7, and seven is when we gradually come back on the throttle just after 6. Also, C10 is where you've shown 11 and C11 is just after that when we leave the throttle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
Hi Jalsa, thanks for the detailed narrative, made for interesting reading, especially the telemetry data. Is this data from an entire lap ?
Thanks. Yes, this is data from an entire lap

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
The comparison data is very interesting - so which driver is quicker (?), the red one or the black one ?
The red one is quicker

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
It'd be great if you could provide some details regarding driving around the track itself - the surface, corners, lines, braking points, & off-track excursions.
Great idea. I'll try and do that.

Last edited by jalsa777 : 20th October 2011 at 15:25.
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Old 20th October 2011, 16:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
One correction though, where you've shown corner 6 is corner 5 actually. Corner 6 is where you've shown corner 7, and seven is when we gradually come back on the throttle just after 6. Also, C10 is where you've shown 11 and C11 is just after that when we leave the throttle.
Hey thanks a bunch, hopefully I've got it right this time around...

Name:  MMST_PoloCup_TrackData.png
Views: 5730
Size:  317.8 KB

So you guys go up the bridge at full throttle ? And, why the instantaneous lift-off from the throttle on the start-finish straight just before the end of the lap ?

Great in-car video
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Old 20th October 2011, 16:43   #6
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
Hey thanks a bunch, hopefully I've got it right this time around...
Spot on

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
So you guys go up the bridge at full throttle ?
Yup, full throttle there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
And, why the instantaneous lift-off from the throttle on the start-finish straight just before the end of the lap ?
Gear shift to 4th
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Old 20th October 2011, 18:42   #7
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Simply love the edited video, Munjal!

Last edited by GTO : 22nd October 2011 at 16:57. Reason: No SMS language on Team-BHP please
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Old 21st October 2011, 01:37   #8
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Hey Jalsa that is a neat thing to post . Feels nice to be hearing from somebody part fo the racing circuit.
What speeds were you upto? May be we should hear more about the track and the pit works.
Keep it going dude.

All the best for the races
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Old 21st October 2011, 17:15   #9
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Congratulations on you feat Jalsa!! I am sure it would be a lifetime experience for you! Do share with us more the stats of the races if you have that data with you. This thread will be an interesting read for me!!
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Old 21st October 2011, 19:42   #10
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

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Originally Posted by DieselDestiny View Post
Hey Jalsa that is a neat thing to post . Feels nice to be hearing from somebody part fo the racing circuit.
What speeds were you upto? May be we should hear more about the track and the pit works.
Keep it going dude.

All the best for the races
I am sure jalsa777 wont mind me answering this question ! Actually i am doing the polo cup along with him...

In chennai we top at around 150kmph...

And in Coimbatore at around 165kmph.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 12:27   #11
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

Pretty nice stuff man! Congrats on your performance and the videos were nice. I could see that there were some racers who were either idiotic / quite aggressive who were not bothered about anything but to overtake at any cost. Am sure this is quite an exciting event for aspirants.

I know that drivers have to pay for the damages caused to the car, at the subsidized rate. In case two cars collide & get damaged, do both owners need to pay for their own cars or the driver who is responsible for the collision pays for both the cars?
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Old 22nd October 2011, 12:33   #12
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I know that drivers have to pay for the damages caused to the car, at the subsidized rate. In case two cars collide & get damaged, do both owners need to pay for their own cars or the driver who is responsible for the collision pays for both the cars?
Each driver pays for his own damages.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 16:19   #13
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

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Each driver pays for his own damages.
The guy in the black polo, in which position did he finish the race. The two of you where having an amazing duel! Unfortunate that he spun out. Was he by any chance tagged by the sky blue polo? Bit of a Lewis Hamilton of Polo R Cup, isn't he? Spun out the Red polo too!
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Old 22nd October 2011, 16:25   #14
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The guy in the black polo, in which position did he finish the race. The two of you where having an amazing duel! Unfortunate that he spun out. Was he by any chance tagged by the sky blue polo? Bit of a Lewis Hamilton of Polo R Cup, isn't he? Spun out the Red polo too!
No. What happened was quite different.

The guy in the red polo went slightly off on the previous corner (C8) (shown in the video) and damaged his rim and tyre, thus getting a puncture. After that, he just could not steer the car (at the right hand kink before C10) resulting in him going off.

The guy in the black polo tried to overtake me from the outside of that same corner (kink before C10), it is a very fast corner. But, he lost control and spun out. I think he finished 11th.

But, he was really hell bent on overtaking me. We had an amazing race as is evident in the video.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 16:28   #15
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Default Re: Videos & Race report : The VW Polo R Cup, Round 5 @ Chennai

I know, I know. I got excited just sitting infront of my comp screen.! A request for you, would you mind uploading race videos of all the races that you participate in and then notify us? I'd like to watch the races in this fashion!
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