Dilantha, Dinesh steal the show
By M. Shamil Amit
Motor cycle champion Dilantha Malagamuwa and motor car champ Dinesh
Deheragoda were the cynosure of all eyes when the two landed a double
each at the Pannala Motor Races held last Sunday at the International
Track in Pannala. This was the first motor races to be held this
year which was also held with new changes from power to weight classification
to the internationaly practised cubic capacity classification .
Dinesh had no difficulty in winning their respective events with
ease. Dilantha in particular risked injury on the eve of his departure
for the Daytona 24 hr. race to be held in USA.
Lanka's only international driver will be taking part in the Daytona
24 hr. as part of the British Rollcentre Racing team on Mosler MT
900 R. He completely outclassed the rest on the field to win both
the Racing 125 cc event and the Open. However he had to withdraw
in the 250cc event as he had a nasty fall but came back to win the
on his Mitsubishi Evolution VII came back to winning form with a
grand double in cars winning both the Group A 1665 cc to 3600 cc
event and the MRA Sprint for the 20 fastest cars.
Dinesh in the
recent past has not got to the winning post on the local scene but
he proved his mettle beyond doubt when he brushed aside stiff opposition
from Thailand champion Chatchai Chaivan who was the sole foreign
participant. Nevertheless Chaivan who was driving a car owned by
Ajantha de Zoysa gave Dinesh some anxious moments.
The much looked
forward Formula event proved to be a dissapointing one with many
of the top contenders not taking part with only four vying for the
race. In the third lap of the ten lap event it seemed the race were
to be fought by only three. The leader 17 year old Thomian Dijen
de Zoysa was way ahead of the others but in the eighth lap his machine
gave way and a dejected Dijen had to give way to the eventual winner
The day started
with the motorcycle event for Standard Novices upto 125cc which
was won by Gayan Sandaruwan better known in the motorcross events.
M. Manaf took the second race which was for Modified 4 Stroke upto
250cc. The third race for Standard Modified bikes upto 125cc went
to Damien Goonetileke. The fourth event for Automatic Scooters upto
50cc for ladies was won by Kalpani Nadeesha.
won the fifth and eighth event. The sixth event for Standard Modified
bikes upto 250cc went to Krishan Dias while the seventh event for
4 Stroke Bikes upto 600cc went to Bertram Fernandez.
The first event
in the motor car category which was for Mini Saloons 1000cc went
to Rohith de Silva. Stefan Furukhan took the second race for Novices
upto 1500cc. One of the new events introduced which was the Ford/Laser
323 1500cc Carburettor was won by Sajaad Zuhair. The two Formula
Ford 1600cc post and pre events were won by Dinesh Jayawardena and
Harsha de Silva.
won the Group N 1400 to 1500cc event. While Nihal Premasiri took
the Group N 1400cc to1500cc Carburettor race. The Group A 1050cc
t0 1350cc went to Dinesh Jayawardena with Ravi Mayadunne taking
the Group A event for cars 1400cc to 1600cc. Bri Ponnambalam took
the Group N 1500cc to 2000cc event. And Dinesh Deheragoda won the
last two events for the day.
motor races was jointly organised by the Motor Racing Association
and the Sri Lanka Racing Riders Association and sponsored by McFoil
Ltd came under heavy praise from many motor-racing stalwarts including
the motor racing governing body (SLAMS) President Suranjith Premadasa
and Foxhill Supercross track designer Hans Ralf.
This is the
way forward, because Cubic Capacity (cc) classification is what
is followed around the world, Premadasa said. Ralf expert in desingning
race tracks praised the surface and said that tracks like Pannala
could improve the country's motor racing standards.
But for unknown
reasons many leading drivers were not seen which otherwise the crowds
that had thronged to witness the events would have enjoyed a better
days racing. The majority of the crowd had come in the afternoon
as the car races were scheduled from12.30 p.m. onwards. For the
first time the motorcycle events were held first followed by the
motor car events.