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201309 Jul

prithviraj sidappa vw india

Prithviraj Sidappa has been with VW Motorsport India for a few seasons now. He’s played a key role in shaping the future of the Polo R Cup, and expanding VW Motorsport’s interest into rallying as well. We put him on the spot, for our Five Minute Face to Face with autojunction.in.

 

 

AJ.       Last year, the Polo R Cup switched from TDI diesel engines and manual gearboxes to TSI petrol engines and DSG gearboxes. Can you tell us the reason for the move?

PS: At Volkswagen Motorsport, we are thriving to deliver world class racing technologies and a platform which will help the young talent from India make it to the international racing world. After running the TDI cars for two years, we realised that the young drivers were getting ready for more power and performance and hence we decided to go for the faster TSI powered cars. The TSI petrol engines are more powerful (180 PS peak power) and come mated with a six-speed DSG for highly precise and quickest gearshifts. These technologies have helped us in upping the competition as the cars were faster than the outgoing TDI race cars. It also gave an opportunity to the drivers to understand and get used to the technologies that are raced in Germany. This reduces the time of adapting to new race cars as the drivers progress to Germany for Scirocco R-Cup.

 

AJ.       For 2013, the Polo R Cup will run in conjunction with a new JK Tyre Motorsport racing series, and not as part of the national championship. Are you looking at ‘National Championship’ status for the Polo R Cup going forward?

PS: Polo R Cup is a one-make series and what matters the most to us is providing a platform to the young talent which they can use to their own benefit of learning and progressing in motorsport. Moreover, as a cup series, we never had the national championship status.

 

AJ.       In China, VW Motorsport organises the Scirocco Cup. Is there a move to place drivers from India in that series, or have Chinese drivers participate in the Polo R Cup in India?

PS: We always look at opportunities to send out our drivers to racing series abroad which could help them in gauging the competition there and learning from the same. In the past we have done this with couple of our drivers – Vishnu Prasad and Avdumber Hede who were given the opportunity to race at Scirocco R-Cup, China. This was of course apart from the championship winners who went to Germany for the Scirocco R-Cup. As far as Chinese drivers coming and driving in India, we have given such an opportunity to two drivers from China in 2011 and will extend such a support in the future.  

 

AJ.       Volkswagen is providing support to customer teams with parts, for those participating in the INRC. Are you looking at a factory-backed team in the INRC in the future?

PS: At Volkswagen Motorsport, we are supporting customers racing with Volkswagen products as much as possible. For now, we are providing technical and spare support to all of those who are participating in INRC with Volkswagen Polo cars. We would like to keep this to the level of customer sport and provide a cost-effective platform for teams to develop. Currently, we do not have any plans for a factory team in INRC. As an example, Team Slideways Industries is one of the biggest independent teams running Volkswagen Polo in INRC which gets all the above mentioned support from Volkswagen Motorsport. The team started with two cars this season and have grown to a team with 6 cars now which shows the success of customer sport

 

AJ.       Volkswagen also develops single-seater race cars for some markets. Will we see a single-seater Series in India?

PS: Currently, we are focussing on Polo R Cup racing series and trying to develop the right infrastructure for supporting customers in INRC. Our prime areas of work will remain these two for the upcoming seasons.

 

AJ.       Last year’s champion, Ameya Walavalkar, has had lots of prior experience in racing, and he is not exactly a ‘young driver’ either. Do you feel the Polo R Cup is succeeding in identifying young talent?

PS: Having Ameya Walavalkar in our Polo R Cup 2012 series was a big advantage for our young drivers. Since he comes with immense amount of experience and talent, there was a lot to learn from him. We have seen him set the pace and others taking advantage of it by learning from his driving. As far as identifying young talent, we have been able to do so every year. Last year we selected Sandeep Kumar who is now driving at Scirocco R-Cup in Germany and showing progress.

 

AJ.       What are your expectations from the current season?

PS: 2013 season is going to be quite a challenge for us as a team. There are a lot of new faces and these young drivers need to be nurtured and shown the right direction for developing their skills.

 

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Volkswagen Car Features


Interview: Prithviraj Sidappa, VW Motorsport India

Prithviraj Sidappa has been with VW Motorsport India for a few seasons now. He’s played a key role in shaping the future of the Polo R Cup, and expanding VW Motorsport’s interest into rallying as well. We put him on the spot, for our Five Minute Face to Face with autojunction.in.

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