Junaid stars for EZY Racing at Sevanagala | Daily News

Junaid stars for EZY Racing at Sevanagala

EZY Racing's Shafraz Junaid who was involved in a car crash at the Foxhill Super Cross, made a dream return to the race track after 3 months of recovery when he went on to win the SLS 1500 event after having started 3rd on the grid. Junaid who participated in this special class which is fast gaining spectator interest, for the first time in April at Foxhill, was involved in a nasty accident where he had to write off his EZY Honda ER1 which was purpose built for this event.

Rally Stalwart Junaid, who a few years back won the MRA Rally Championship in the neighbouring Sugar Plantation of Sevanagala, was the sole participant for the black and red team who were given a huge blow when Star Racer Dilan Seneviratne was unable to participate due to a severe bout of flu. However, Junaid put his experience to full use when he managed to qualify 3rd in the SLS 1500cc category and then provide a spectacular timing in the SLGT upto 3500cc category, to out qualify Ishraq Wahab, the race winner at the 'super car' event in Foxhill to 3rd place, thereby securing the 2nd position on the grid behind Ashan Silva .

In the SLS 1500 event Junaid had some wheel spin at the start but managed to draw parallel to race leader Kaushalya Samarasinghe and Rohan Dhammapala by the time they reached Turn 1. Kaushalya who unfortunately got a slight bump on the rear by Dhammapala while going into turn 1 had to compromise on his race lead as his car swayed against the Racing direction. Junaid who was entering the corner parallel to this but on the outside, managed to stay well clear and went around this pack to take the lead. There onwards it was all Junaid's race as he managed to finish with a comfortable lead. Young Irfan Fuad who held off stiff competition from pole sitter Kaushalya by displaying some clean driving finished second, while Kalim Iqbal, nephew of veteran racer Rameez Mahmoor finished 3rd.

"Today is a very special day for us as we managed to finish on top of the podium. We knew our car was the heaviest in the pack by over 300 kilo's as this car wasn't purpose built for this event. However we knew we had the pace to keep up so that we could take advantage of any incident. Things went according to plan as I managed to stay away from tangling in turn 1. Thereafter I did push as I knew Kaushalya's car was very fast and he had the potential to catch up. However when I saw that Kaushalya was out of the race, I eased off. It is a very special feeling to have won the first race after coming back from a nasty accident" said an elated Junaid

In the SLGT upto 3500 Junaid who started second in the grid was given a stiff challenge by Wahab who unfortunately had to retire prematurely as his car ran wide in a smoke of dust and hit the side walls. " Although Ishraq (Wahab) took me into turn 1, I knew I had a better racing line and entry into turn 2, so I managed to repossess my position behind Ashan. However, it was impossible to even think of challenging Ashan in that cloud of dust. We also lacked the pace of the front running car and decided that 2nd place would be very good for the Team", said Junaid .

Commenting on his race drivers performance, Shafraz Hamzadeen Founder/CEO of EZY Racing went on state "We always believed in Junaid's ability as a race driver. He has proved it on multiple occasions on the Rally Track. When it came to mass starts his role was more of a supporting role on the SLGT class as we always had 3-4 front runners in our team. The absence of them gave Junaid the opportunity to showcase his abilities which truly was very encouraging. His win in the SLS class would definitely provide him a great sense of belief. Considering that this was the first time he raced on a front wheel drive car, I am confident this weekend’s success would make a greater impact in his approach to motor racing in the coming events."

Hamzadeen further stated that Junaid's ability to put aside his horrendous accident and move forward showed the mental approach of his team's driver. EZY Racing who has a fan base in excess of 31,000 will now be taking a months break before coming back to the season ending races.