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Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010

Chennai, April 17 (IANS) The landmark Volkswagen Polo Cup India touring car series that is to be run as part of the 2010 JK Tyre National Racing Championship has attracted a record 1,100 entries for the 20 slots on the start grid that will be finalised after a four-tier selection and evaluation process.

Speaking to IANS here Saturday, Sanjay Sharma, head of motor sport at JK Tyre, said the pruning process of the aspirants, all in the age group of 16 to 24 years, involved initial administrative checks that reduced the number to 713, who were then subjected to interviews to arrive at a figure of 450.

"These 450 youngsters have been invited to Kolhapur to undergo further tests in Polo car simulators that have been flown in from Germany, on April 23-25. The simulator runs are for absolute rookies with no racing experience. They will then graduate to four-stroke go-karts and then to two-stroke where they will be joined by those with some racing background.

"We will then shortlist 40 candidates who will take part in the final evaluation process in Coimbatore on May 15 and 16 when they actually get to drive the Polo Cup car.

"While JK Tyre will provide some support, the evaluation will be done by experts appointed by Volkswagen," Sharma disclosed.

The Polo Cup India series is the latest by Volkswagen who run similar championships in South Africa, Europe and Japan.

The entry fee for the six-round championship is Rs 240,000 and the amount covers fireproof racing overall, helmet, HANS (Head And Neck Support system) and service back-up, besides hospitality during the race weekends.

The champion of the series will be decided on the basis of cumulative points that range from 60 to two for each of the six rounds.

The Polo Cup championship will be run in a controlled environment that disallows any set-up changes or modifications to the car with the exception of three-way adjustable front stabilizer and tyre pressure.

One of the main benefits of the championship is that top performers in the Polo Cup would be part of the driver exchange programme that enables them to travel abroad to participate in similar Volkswagen championships and partner series.

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