|Inaugural FIA standard Rally
Dinesh Deheragoda the overall winner, but Javidh Wahab takes days honours
The Motor Racing Association (MRA) created history in motor sporting events in Sri Lanka by staging a phenomenal first ever FIA Standard Rally at Pelwatta Sugar Industries terrain in Buttala.
Acclaimed by the competing drivers as the best rally of all time, they were put through some of the finest terrains for rallying under four different conditions. Never before have drivers and co-drivers had to psychologically and physically condition themselves to handle total average speeds of close to 100 kmph throughout the rallly. The World Rally Championship is plotted to achieve a maximum of 104 kmph by the FIA Rally Body.
Dinesh Deheragoda won his Class T1 and was also the overall winner before being stretched to the limit by second placed and Group A winner Mansoor Hassen. The difference between the two talented drivers was only a little over 3 minutes. When considering a total distance of 214.8 km this is accepted to be a very close finish.
However, the driver of the day was young Javidh Wahab who won his Class S2 and came in third overall driving a standard Toyota Sprinter. He took the lead in the final leg with a blinding drive under very wet and muddy conditions to get the better of Deheragoda, the ultimate winner.
Dhanuka Nadeera co-driven by karting compatriot Sampath Karunaratne did a massive drive to finish 5 minutes ahead of Romani de Silva and Namaz Fowzie in Group S1 class.
The Group T1 Class saw Samin Attanayake being in the front with Deshan de Silva who drove a very consistent race coming in second with Rikaz Hussain in third place.
Chandana de Silva in the Group T2 Class driving a battered Mitsubishi pick up came in second to the overall winner Dinesh Deheragoda.
On persistent requests made by the competitors and the racing fraternity, the Chairman of the Rally Richard de Zoysa, identified his next rally route the day after the rally where he would couple Sevenagala Sugar Industries propriety together with Pelwatte Sugar Industries and also slotting a blistering 30km tarmac section to add varying terror ends to another scintillating pace FIA Standard Rally, scheduled to be held later this year.
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