Consistency key to Vento title, says Dodhiwala
Newly-crowned Vento Cup champion Ishaan Dodhiwala believes regular podiums and points finishes was instrumental to his championship win in the 2016 season of the one-make series.
Throughout the season comprising of four rounds and 10 races, Dodhiwala finished outside the podium only once, while claiming five wins.
Something which the Hyderabad-based driver reckons that was pivotal in him beating title-rival Karminder Singh to the crown.
“If you look at last year, I scored seven second places finishes, yet I finished third in the championship,’’ Dodhiwala told Motorsport.com.
“This year I’ve regularly been able to make the step up and score wins on a regular basis. The championship is such that there is a massive points difference between finishing first and second (12 points).”
"[It] was a long and hard fought season but all the preparation helped. I was confident of doing well and it feels incredible now that I have won the cup," he added.
Top-five in MRF F1600
Next year, Dodhiwala will switch to single-seater machinery competing in the MRF F1600 series, which comes as a reward for winning the Vento Cup.
Although he has prior testing experience and plans to spend more time in the car over the winter, Dodhiwala has kept the expectations to a minimum heading into his first season in open-wheel cars.
“I’m going to try and keep an open mind,’’ he said. “Considering I did the Polo R Cup in 2014, it is my third year in touring cars. So it is a massive shift in terms of car and the dynamics.
“I’m not trying to keep any targets but a top-five finish in the championship will be a good first season for me.”
“Maybe first couple of races will be a little challenging, but I should be able to keep up with the pace pretty quickly,’’ he added.
Friendship with rival Singh
Dodhiwala’s on-track rivalry with Singh was the feature of the 2016 season, with the duo going head-to-head for the title.
But, as Dodhiwala elaborates, the two driver remains close friends outside the boundaries of a race track.
“Karminder [Singh], me and [2015 Vento champion] Anindith [Reddy] have been the best of friends off the track, irrespective of what fight we have on the track,’’ he said. “
“The minute we are out on the car, we are back to our old friendship. It’s always refreshing to have this kind of friendship going in a motorsport fraternity.
“You always come to hear of these fierce rivalry like [Nico] Rosberg and [Lewis] Hamilton in F1. But for us, we are very comfortable with each other.”
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