From left: Ashan Silva, Dinesh Jayawardana, Dilan Seneviratne and Shehara Jayawardana
The AMRC SLARDAR Tarmac Championship, which flagged off on 31 May, was the setting for some spectacular races. Rising above a record number of entries, Mobil Brand Ambassadors Ashan Silva, Shehara Jayawardana, Dinesh Jayawardana and Dilan Seneviratne all walked off with podium finishes.
Shehara Jayawardana began proceedings with a win in the day’s first event – the SL-S up to 1350cc – after a brief tussle at the start of the race with S.A. Duminda and Imran Yakoob. In the SL-H up to 1600cc race, Shehara started 3rd on the grid but maneuvered her way through a spectacular first lap in which a number of competitors’ cars were badly damaged due to contact into the first corner.
She not only held 3rd place through the racing carnage but eventually fought her way up to take 2nd place, passing Irfan Fuard. In the race’s final laps, she managed to gain on Sajaad Zuhair, who has been dominating the SL-H event in the recent past. Her gritty performance is ample proof that she will continue to be a force to reckon with in future SL-H races.
Despite qualifying 2nd on the previous day to Dareen Weerasinha, Ashan Silva won both SL-GT up to 3500cc races and also snagged the coveted “Best Driver” award. The first SL-GT race saw Silva leading from start to end with Weerasinha following closely. Abeeth Dangalla and Dinesh Jayawardana staged an epic battle for 3rd place but Jayawardana eventually had to ease off in the penultimate lap and settle for 4th place due to a technical error. Dilan Seneviratne zoomed into 5th, taking the final podium position.
In the second SL-GT race, Silva got off to another flying start and led comfortably from start to end. Dareen Weerasinha fell back a couple of places off the start, which gave Abeeth and Dilan an opening. The dueling drivers squeezed their way into 2nd and 3rd, followed by Dinesh and Dareen. A couple of laps into the race, Dilan Seneviratne looked to gain and pass Dangalla, who seemed to be struggling with a mechanical failure. Dareen Weerasinha managed to catch up with Dilan, who was running 2nd at the time, and the pair went on to give the spectators a thrilling display of driving skill.
The battle went on until the second-to-last lap, when Seneviratne had to give way to Weerasinha, who took advantage of fresher tires to pressure Dilan inside the corners. Dilan consolidated his gains to take 3rd place in the race. Jayawardana persevered to take 4th place, giving each of the Mobil Brand Ambassadors a podium finish. Following a great weekend of racing, the 2015 season is looking very promising for the Mobil Brand Ambassadors.