The most-looked-forward-to tarmac motor racing event of the year, the Rotherham Circuit Meet held in Katukurunda, was given its due glamour when Sri Lanka’s foremost motor racing team EZY Racing took 10 podiums positions consisting of five wins and five podium finishes when its riders/drivers comprising Sajaad Zuhair, Jaden Gunawardane, Shrian Samuels and Aaron Gunawardane completed an all driver/rider podium weekend.
EZY Racing, which was participating this weekend without its ace driver Pasindu Peiris who was serving a penalty imposed on him, was given a strong start when Sajaad Zuhair starting on pole position in the SLH up to 1500CC event went on to win the race with comfort in his EZY Honda ER2.
Sajaad also had a fantastic start to his SLH up to 1600CC event in his EZY Honda ER6 where he led a formidable lineup of Ashan Silva, Dilan Seneviratne and Dinesh Jayawardane for five laps in a closely fought eight lap event, where he finally conceded the lead, losing momentum while trying to defend his lead which saw him finishing fourth. Sajaad also managed to finish fourth in the SLH 1600 Event 2, where he was involved in a close battle with Dinesh Jayawardane for third place.
This was closely followed by 11-year-old Jaden Gunawardane in his EZY Yamaha ER-Q as he went on to win the Group “O” Standard Motorcycles up to 125CC event. Nine-year-old Aaron Gunawardane finished third to provide two podiums in this event for the premier racing team.
EZY Racing had another victory in the bag in the Standard motor cycles 125CC event until riding sensation Shrian Samuels who was leading till the last lap had to sacrifice his race win due to a lapse in concentration. Samuels made amends in the Standard/modified Motor cycles up to 600CC event when he rode his EZY Honda ER-Z.
Jaden who also rode in the thoroughbred motorcycles up to 125CC, showed his skill once again when he masterfully controlled the overpowered bike for his age to finish second in the event. Jaden also nailed the final event he took part in, when he comfortably won the standard motorcycle up to 160CC event to bag two wins and a second place in the three races he took part in.
Team Principal and CEO/MD of EZY Racing Shafraz Hamzadeen stated that his team gave their absolute best to ensure that the season would be concluded as strongly as they began it.
“This year we contracted a very strong and balanced team comprising very good drivers/riders in both the motor car and motor cycle segments. The fact that we were able to bring home eight podiums of which four were victories, without the participation of our lead driver Pasindu Peiris goes on to show the strength and depth of our team.”
Shrian Samuels who specially flew from Qatar to participate in this event for EZY Racing showcased his skills when he went on to win the Standard/Modified Motorcycles Open Event in his 600CC EZY Honda ER-Z by comfortably beating Ned Daniels (second) and Maduranga Caldera (third) who were both riding much more powerful 1000CC motorbikes.
Samuels, like Jaden, completed an all podium weekend where he won two events and finished second in two events. Samuels, who has had a very successful stint with EZY Racing, not only had more than 500 meters of a gap between him and Daniels, but also lapped five more riders during his dominating display of motor bike riding.
Hamzadeen further stated: “As a team, everyone stood up to deliver what they had planned to do. It was unfortunate that Sajaad couldn’t hold onto to the lead that he got in the ER6. He definitely didn’t have the fastest car as depicted in the qualifying on Saturday as he started third on the grid. However, he did manage to hold onto the lead for five laps before he lost momentum.
This event was without doubt the most competitive event of the weekend and it was evident how both Dilan Seneviratne and Dinesh Jayawardane managed to capitalise on the slight mistake made by Sajaad. Other than this event, it was definitely a very satisfying weekend where both Jaden and Shrian went onto lap competitors in their events.”
With the motor racing calendar almost coming to a closure, and just two more tarmac events scheduled, Hamzadeen felt his team was in a very strong position to accumulate 50 podium finishes in a calendar year.
“Five wins and five more podiums today was simply outstanding. With this we have closed in on 42 podiums this year – a feat achieved by no other motor racing team. We would be ecstatic if we can win 50 podiums in a single calendar year. With two more tarmac events scheduled, we hope we could close in on this number, which would only further serve to underline our team’s strength,” said Hamzadeen
EZY Racing, which has redefined motor sports in the country, also concluded the first-ever EZY Racing Kart Fighters event in a true EZY style. This talent search to infuse new blood to its racing driver line-up for 2013 was successful, while the EZY Racing team has had a successful year both in and out of the motor racing arena where it has gone on to become a very strong household name.