Volkswagen Motorsport India completed a clean sweep of victories in the opening round of the Indian Touring Car Championship, as the sole manufacturer on the grid comfortably outgunned privateer opposition in Coimbatore.
Tharani started race 2 from fifth on the grid, but made a rocketing start to take the lead into turn 1.
Mohite also managed to pass the lead pack of privateer-run cars and later indulged in a fight for victory against Tharani, the two running closely matched on the final lap.
However, multiple-national level champion Tharani managed to just hold on from last year’s Ameo Cup winner, taking the chequered flag by a slender margin of 0.343s.
Ishaan Dodhiwala, another graduate from Volkswagen’s one-make programme, finished third, making it an all-Volkswagen podium.
Volkswagen’s India arm, however, was unable to repeat the same feat in Race 3 as Ishaan Dodhiwala crashed into the barriers at turn 1 while chasing lead privateer Arjun Balu for third.
That prompted a safety car period, but Tharani and Mohite - who both had started on the front-row - were able to pull away cleanly once the SC retreated, finishing first and second respectively.
Balu crossed the line in third, securing his second podium finish of the weekend. 77-year old D Vidyaprakash took a shock fourth place finish in both races today, driving an old-generation Esteem tuned by Prime Racing.
Volkswagen’s impressive run of three victories was a massive endorsement for the new rules, which have been designed to entice manufacturer participation and modernise a series hampered by out-of-production cars.
Volkswagen is the launch partner for the new regulations, having helped devise them in association with FMSCI.