Dinesh Jayawardena and Ananda Sampath Weerasinghe stamped their class at the 83rd Mahagastota Festival of Speed by becoming the fastest driver and rider respectively.
One of the oldest and most prestigious events in the Sri Lankan motor racing calendar, the Mahagastota festival of Speed was conducted by the Ceylon Motor Sports Club at the Pedro Estate, where some of Sri Lanka’s best drivers and riders engaged in a race against the clock.
Jayawardene, competing in the SL-GT cars up to 3500cc event, finished the uphill drive in just 33.657 seconds.
Darin Weerasinghe took 34.236 seconds to reach the finishing line and that earned him the second place in the SL-GT category. Shafraz Junaid was the third fastest, clocking 38.570 seconds. Darin was unfortunate to have crashed out in his first attempt.
Returning to action after a lapse of two years, Dilan Seneviratne topped the time sheets in both events he took part. Seneviratne clocked fastest times in the Formula Ford 1600cc and Formula Modified up to 1665cc categories.
Seneviratne, upon his return to the race track, made an immediate impact, clocking 36.981 seconds in the Formula Ford 1600cc event, almost three seconds faster than his closest compatriot, Shafraz Junaid. Junaid clocked 39.224 seconds to book the second place. Nadeera Jinasena spent 39.318 seconds to reach the end of the track and completed the top three podium spots.
In the Formula Modified Up to 1665cc category, Seneviratne’s sealed the top spot with a 34.760 second run, on his first attempt itself. His fellow team-mate Rohan de Silva was the second fastest, clocking 44.040 seconds to make it a Mobil – one-two. Rohan was unfortunate since his car was not performing to his expectation.
Young racing prodigy Kushan Peiris also enjoyed an impressive run, winning the SL-H Cars up to 1618cc as well as the Ford Laser/Mazda 323 up to 1300cc event.
Peiris spent 38.028 seconds to reach the finishing line in the SL-H Cars event and later, he went on to win the Ford Laser/Mazda 323 up to 1300cc category, with a time of 42.714 seconds.
The fastest rider of the day, Ananda Sampath clocked 33.936 seconds ahead of his fellow compatriots S P Chaminda (37.142 seconds) and Dilan Chaminda (39.918 seconds) in the SM Open 2T and 4T event.
In the national events, Sanjeewa Udaya Kumara (45.008 in the Group ‘O’ Std\Mod upo 125cc (4T) Mono Cylinder) and National) Vinula Pathirage (41.696 in the Std Motorcycles over 125cc up to 160cc (4T), topped the time sheets.
Popular riders Shrian Samuel (35.813 in the Std\Mod Motorcycles 600cc) Maduranga Caldera (39.467 in the Std\Mod Motorcycles Over 900cc upto 1000cc) were also among the top performers in their respective classes.
Due to the large number of Motor Cycle entries received, the organisers had to conduct the event on two days, ie, Motor Cycles on Saturday and the Cars on Sunday.