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Janaka, Visal Stars at Katukurunda Rotherham Circuit Meet 2008

Rider Visal Thilina Fernando and driver Janaka Dias were the stars at Rotherham Circuit Meet Katukurunda on Sunday organised by Sri Lanka Association for Racing Drivers and Riders along in association with Sri Lanka Air Force.

Visal Fernando won the triple this day winning Racing Motor cycles for 125 cc ahead of Krishan Dias and went onto make it a double later when he out ran Udesh Chathuranga in the 250 cc class. Once again he had the better of Krishan Dias in the open event for Group D modified category to win the third event for the day which also brought him the U.D. Jinadasa Trophy for the Best Rider of the day.

Meanwhile Janaka Dias who did a classy drive to win the Group SL-GT Cars upto 3500 cc which was also the last event for the day. He was behind the wheel of his Subaru WRX Sti. This race was the most interesting as last year's champion Dinesh Deheragoda and four times champion Aravinda Premadasa in battle. The first race of this was won by Aravinda with Janaka taking the second slot. Deheragoda in his new Mitsubishi Evo X though came out of the paddock could not face the starter due to a technical problem.

Deheragoda entered the second race and everyone was expecting a three cornered battle with Aravinda and Janaka.

Aravinda was infront with Janaka right behind him, but tragedy struck for Aravinda when his vehicle failed. At this stage it was Janaka in lead with Deheragoda way back in fourth position due to few mishaps at cops corner. Deheragoda made every effort and was catching up with the leaders with two lap to go once he went out of the track and lost valuable time but managed to finish behind the winner. Janaka had the best drive in this event, he never had problems right through the event and received the chequered flag quite comfortably.

Ashan Silva too drove a Mitsubishi Evo III to win the SL-H Cars upto 3500 cc class comfortably pushing Janaka Dias to second slot who was driving Mitsubishi Evo V. Dinesh Jayawardene more famous for the 1600 cc class driving his Honda DHL special was a clear winner in this category. Dinesh was chased by Buddhika de Silva and Pasindu Peiris. Dinesh who had a fine start was in front and was never seen having problem from the other drivers who were way behind him. Earlier in the same class he was placed third behind young Pasindu Peiris and Upulwan Serasinghe. Here, Jayawardena could not get off to a good start.

Yoga Perera a veteran in the Mini Class 1050 cc came up with fine performance to win his class handling his morris Mini in grand style. He finished before Surindu Gunewardena and Susantha Gunewardena.

Dhammika Peiris another veteran on this track failed to impress in the Ford Laser/Mazda class when he finished behind Chaminda Weerasooriya. Later in the day he had a another second place in the 12 kg category. Upulwan Serasinghe was the winner here.

Upulwan Serasinghe won a double, winning the Ford Laser/Mazda Class in the second race of the day for this class.

Pasindu Peiris who was expecting many could not achieve the best but managed to win 10-12 kg class and was placed second in two other races. Buddhika de Silva managed a win in the 8-10 kg category.

Damith Abeyratne was the winner in the SL-A Cars upto 1400 cc, with W.A.G. Rangana another veteran in this class finished behind Damith. In the Motor cycle event it was a keen tussle with almost every event witnessing the top riders Krishan Dias, Visal Fernando, Ramal Pathiratne, Rohana Jayaratne and Suraj Perera competing.

It was interesting to note that three Maldivian riders competing for the first time on a track of this nature. Speaking to Daily News Manager of the team Ahamed Haikel said that his boys were nervous and could not make a great impact.

The riders in Maldives have no experience at all. In fact they have never race before even on their home soil. It was a great experience for our riders. They were highly delighted and want to visit Sri Lanka in the future too, said Haikel.

He said all these were possible due to the efforts of Shrian Samuel who made arrangements for us to make it the meet without any inconvenience. As we could not bring our bikes he volunteered to supply my riders with the bikes that were needed to race here.

We are very thankful to Samuel for his generosity, said Haikel.