Jagath Aruna the star at Katukurunda
Deheragoda moves closer to championship title:
MOTOR RACING: K. Jagath Aruna and Dinesh Deheragoda carried
away the major trophies as the Best Rider and Best Driver at the
Rotherham Circuit Meet yesterday at Katukurunda Air-base circuit, which
was organised by Sri Lanka Air Force and conducted by Sri Lanka
Association for Racing Drivers and Riders. The event was sponsored by
Mobitel, Sri Lanka Insurance and Red Bull.
K. Jagath Aruna all honours in the Motor Cycle category winning three
event first he won the Super Motaro Open event on a high powered bike
with a capacity of 650cc. Experienced Shane Gunawardena Honda XR 650 was
the runner-up, with Ramal Pathiratne taking the third slot.
Dinesh Deheragoda, winner of the Super Car events
appreciating cheers from the crowds in his Mitsubishi
Evolusion IX. Picture by Saman Mendis.
He made it a double winning the race No. 2 in the same class. Here
too it was Ramal and Shane had to finish behind Aruna, though they too
used the bikes with the same capacity. It was Aruna’s skill that brought
him victories in this class.
Aruna participating in the Group P Std/Mod Open event using the
biggest bike Suzuki GSX1000 on track yesterday, won the race after a big
threat from second placed Visal Feranando who was on a Honda NSR600.
Visal posed the biggest threat when he overtook Aruna in the third
lap at the cops corner, but could not maintain it and in the very next
lap Aruna grabbed the lead and rode till the end to make it three in a
The Group SL-GT Car up to 3500 were the most thrilling races
witnessed by the large crowds with a hotly contested battle between
championship leader Dinesh Deharagoda, Dinesh Jayawardene and three time
champion Aravinda Premadasa.
The first race commenced with Deheragoda on pole position and was in
front for some time with Jayawardene, Riyaz Farook and Premadasa giving
Premadasa using his experience to the maximum came to front in the
penultimate lap but could not hold on to it. Deheragoda receiving the
chequered flag in a photo finish ahead of Premadasa. Jayawardene
finished on the third slot.
The race No. 2 was evenly contested once again the three drivers all
driving Mitsubishi Evo’s made it looked like a Evo’s battle. Deheragoda
was in the front from the word go and held on to slender lead.
Premadasa who knows well about the track condition hanged on to
Deheragoda hoping the leader to make a mistake to grab the opportunity
which never materialised.
Jayawardene who fought well in the earlier race had given up the race
due to technical problems and Riyaz Farook finished behind Deheragoda
and Premadasa with these two wins he extended his championship points to
69, making him a clear leader.
W. A. G. Rangana was the other driver who excelled yesterday winning
a treble. He won the days first event the Ford Laser/Mazda 1500 class.
Chaminda Weerasooriya and Ashan Silva ended up as runners-up. He won the
race No. 2 also comfortably to make the double. This double wins added
20 points to him making him the champion driver in this class with 90
points. His closest rival is 28pt far behind him.
Rangana again driving in a different class the SL-N Cars Ford
Laser/Mazda 1300cc won it comfortably to become the only driver to win
three races on this day.
The Nissan March 1000cc class became a family affair with two
brothers and a sister competing alongside experienced drivers.
S. A. Lakshika the daughter of S. A. Amarasiri drove to victory not
only by going ahead of the other drivers but also his two brothers.
Duminda and Harsha who managed to secure the second and third slots.
This will also make history showing a picture for the first time three
members of one family on the podium.
Rohith de Silva a seasoned campaigner in the SL-N Mini class who also
has international experience came up with wins proving he is unbeatable
in this category. He was well ahead of others in both races in his
highly modified Mini Morspeed 1275cc. He controlled his machine
Sajaad Zuhair won both races in the 1600 cc class. He had to face
stiff competition from the 65 years old well experienced driver
Sumanapala Mannapperuma. Sumanapala finished as first runner-up in both
events with Abeeth Dangalle moving onto podium as second runner-up.
Young Pasindu Peiris too went onto register two wins when he won the
SL-N Car up to 10-12 kg class driving a Honda GE3. Here he had driven
against host of experienced drivers but once he had a good start kept on
moving steadily controlling his machine well and not allowing anyone to
go past him.
Later he won the 8-10 kg category too minus any challenge. A Mini
Cosmic driven by another reputed driver Yoga Perera brought him victory.
Yoga who got off to a good start maintained his lead excellently.
Yoga a well versed man with the track conditions controlled his
machine in an immaculate manner until the finish. The other drivers to
record wins on this day are Ajith Hemachandra and Ashan Silva.
Visal Fernando and Krishan Dias are the other two drivers who
excelled yesterday registering two victories. These two riders with
their skills and controlling of their machines gave the spectators their
monies worth. Their cornering and the high speeds that they touched on
the straight thrilled everyone.
The other riders who won a race each are Damien Gunatillake, Ramal
Pathiratne, Prabath Peiris and Susil Wanniarachchi.
Full credit should go to the Sri Lanka Air Force for reviving this
meet after a lapse of six years and organising the same in orderly
manner for SLARDAR to conduct the event without much difficulty.
Air Marshal Roshan Gunatilleke who took a keen interest in reviving
this meet was the chief guest and gave away the main awards.
Full results will be published later.