Ashan Silva dazzled a large crowd of over 30,000 spectators with a spectacular display of motor racing as EZY Racing, Sri Lanka’s premier motor racing team completed a tough weekend at the Cavalry Super Cross.
EZY Racing’s premier driver Sajaad Zuhair managed to finish a fighting third to provide EZY Racing a satisfying result on a tough and luckless weekend, with Janaka Dias finishing second.
The Cavalry Super Cross, organised jointly by the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps and SLARDAR, was held at the Pangolla Army Camp.
EZY Racing, which is the reigning Rally Champions in Sri Lanka, recently strengthened its race participation with the addition of two new drivers in Mudith Maddumarachchi (Standard Mini Class) and Ryan Todd (Formula LGB Class), who went into this competition with three of their prime drivers, 2010 Rally Champion Shafraz Junaid, 2009 Rally Champion Rizvi Farouk (SL GT Category) and 2010 Foxhill Champion (SLH Category) Sajaad Zuhair.
With Sajaad finishing sixth in his EZY Honda ER6 during qualifying in the SLH up to 1600 CC category, the race started at a hectic pace as Ashan Silva went on to dominate the race from pole position to victory. Sajaad who started sixth on the grid had to fight out a tough race to finish third on the podium.
After the race, Sajaad said: “It was undoubtedly one of the toughest races we have participated in during the weekend. We did do some upgrades from Foxhill to our cars; however, today’s race didn’t suit our cars as much as it suited the competition. Having started sixth from the grid, what mattered most coming out of a tight first corner without damaging the car. I did have a mishap when I almost climbed on to Janaka Dias’s (who finished second) car, but was fortunate not to damage my car too much. There onwards the car balance was not too great and it was all about damage control. We know that we cannot win every race because different tracks suit different drivers, their driving styles and most importantly the car settings. We were not strong this year in Cavalry but we have learnt and gathered a lot of data to make us more competitive to fight out in the front.”
Ace driver Rizvi Farouk in his EZY Subaru ER9 competing in the SLGT up to 3500CC category had a luckless day in spite of him displaying a spectacular driving effort to finish fifth after being knocked in the first corner where he was positioned in parallel to second-placed Pasindu Pieris. Dinesh Deheragoda, who showed great pace during qualifying, was untouchable as he went on to show his supremacy in winning the event comfortably.
Commenting on his team’s performance, CEO and Team Principal of EZY Racing Shafraz Hamzadeen said: “When we came off from Foxhill in April, we had a whole bundle of problems to solve in our cars. In retrospect this race has been very satisfying for us. For starters, our cars were showing much more promise in its race pace. Our drivers were feeling much more comfortable in handling their vehicles than they did in the previous race. The team has become much more resourceful than we ever were in the past. We need to work on our car settings and we definitely are going to work hard in getting our car balance right. This is an area we are going to focus on a lot in the future. Both Sajaad and Rizvi showed great race pace today and great driving skills. What they lacked was a little fortune that always makes the difference.”
EZY Racing who entered motor racing in 2009, are the reigning rally champions and have won two consecutive rally championships in 2009 and 2010. With the 2011 Rally Championship beginning in the second week of June, Hamzadeen said, “We all know that our strength lies in Rally Racing. This suits our team very well because it gives our drivers the opportunity to get the maximum results out of their driving skills. As much as the car settings and the car balance play a great role in rallying, it’s our driver’s skills that have often taken us the extra distance to make us champions in both 2009 and 2010. We are planning on bringing in a few upgrades to the first rally. It will be interesting to see how it will position us in our pace against our competitors.”
EZY Racing drivers Shafraz Junaid (2010 Champion) co-driven by namesake and team principal Shafraz Hamzadeen and ace driver Rizvi Farouk (2009 Champion) will be seen in action in contention for the Rally championship on 11 and 12 June in Sevanagala.