Shrian, Sajaad and Dilan light up Colombo


The best edition of the Colombo Night Race lit up when the country’s only professional Motor Racing Team, EZY Racing, entertained over millions of television viewers and over 100,000 spectators as their race drivers and riders displayed spectacular racing skills, during a night of dominance in the Colombo Night Race 2013.

The Oracle powered team, who early this month launched their 2014 cars and bikes were looking the most dominant team on the track with a star studded driver and rider line up which included the only rider to have won a Super Bike event in the previous two editions of this coveted event, namely Shrian Samuels, 2011 winner and 2012 runner-up of SLH 1600 Dilan Seneviratne, the who took pole position in the same event and the race leader who eventually had to retire, Sajaad Zuhair, as well as Jaden and Aaron Gunawardane.

The Oracle Business Intelligence powered team were given a very strong start for the weekend when they dominated the grid positions on Saturdays qualifying sessions, as they occupied the front row of the grid in 4 of the 5 events EZY Racing was taking part in, which included two pole positions for Sajaad Zuhair and Dilan Seneviratne, in the SLS 1500 and SLH 1600 events. The SLH 1600 event saw a front row lock between Seneviratne and Zuhair who qualified first and second, setting the stage for a perfect weekend.

The Sunday’s race was given a perfect start when Sajaad Zuhair dominated the SLS 1500 event as he went on to lead all 10 laps from pole position, with absolutely no challenge. Zuhair, driving his ER 2 was participating in this event only for the second time, having previously participated at Pannala, during the final round of the Speed Championship to qualify to run in this event at the Colombo Night Race, which was also won by him. Zuhair who lapped almost every driver, other than the second and third palced Damitha Abeyratne and Kushan Peiris, showed the might of EZY Racing, as he provided the perfect start for the night.

In the immediately following much anticipated SLH 1600 event, Zuhair was seen yet again in the thick of action, this time with his team mate Dilan Seneviratne, who was participating in his final race in the SLH 1600 event as he will be focusing only on the SLGT class for EZY Racing next year. Both Seneviratne and Zuhair got a perfect start and within the first lap pulled away from the rest of the grid. Through the next nine laps they provided a packed audience with the entertainment they had all come to watch, as the two EZY Racing cars stole the limelight, driving bumper to bumper. Zuhair, who in 2012 led the race with Seneviratne providing a stiff challenge, was now the challenger, as he tried every move he possibly could against Seneviratne, who had the race in control. With the two EZY Racing cars having established a very comfortable lead over the others, in spite of the wet weather conditions, they ultimately succumbed to the soggy road condition in the final lap, just when EZY Racing thought that they bagged another victory and a second place. Zuhair, who had closely followed Senviratne for 10 laps, lost grip when breaking into turn two and touched Seneviratne on the side of his car, which in turn spun Seneviratne and stalled Zuhair as they stopped their cars from knocking each other. Both drivers re-joined the race having conceded their positions, and Seneviratne eventually finished third. Seneviratne who also took part in the SLGT up to 3500 CC event and started 6th on the grid and raced very aggressively to finish fourth.

Having bagged two podium positions, EZY Racing entered the final race event of the night, the Motorbike Open Event as clear favourites, as this was a race that they have dominated in the previous two editions of the night race, where their champion rider Shrian Samuels had gone on to win the race on both occasions. Shrian, who was second on the grid got off to a slow start where he lost a couple of positions before fighting back to be right behind Maduranga Caldera, who was riding a faster 1000 CC motor bike to Samuels’ 600 CC bike. The pair provided a scintillating display of riding where they were seen fighting for the race lead throughout the race, all the way to the chequered flag. Both Samuels and Caldera were entangled in a battle of their own, where they almost lapped the entire set of other riders, as they kept exchanging the race lead around three to four times in a lap. Caldera, who clearly had the advantage on power, was continuously hunted by Samuels who used the ease of manoeuvring in the 600CC to his advantage by out breaking Caldera on more than a few occasions to gain the lead. With two laps to go, Samuels took the lead for the one final time and managed to hold onto the lead all the way to the chequered flag, with Caldera finishing right behind Samuels.

"Our Partnership with Oracle has got off to a perfect beginning. The EZY Racers sure did us all proud today, as they not only were very successful in their performances but they also provided entertainment to a packed audience at the EZY Racing Lounge where they co-hosted most of the leading corporates in Sri Lanka in true EZY Racing style," said Shafraz Hamzadeen, CEO of EZY Racing.

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