Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 28 February 2016





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Son of songstress beats iron men to win rally title

Samin Attanayake, the youngest son of veteran songstress Sujatha Attanayake, and his co-driver Rahal Uluwita outsmarted the rest of the competitors in the fray to win the SLARDAR 1000 Rally last week.

The winners of the SLARDAR 1000 Rally Samin Attanayake (left) and his co-driver Rahal Uluwita stand on the podium flanked by second placed Sharfaz Junaid and Akhry Ameer (co-driver) and third placed Sabri Salam and Ahamad Ashard (co-driver) Pix: Geesha Munasinghe

Attanayake and Uluwita finished with the least number of debit points numbering 112 while the runner-up Shafraz Junaid and his co-driver Akhry Ameer had 142 debit points.

The last vehicle to finish had a horrible 6000 debit points. It was manned by Kasun Kodippily and Ananda Dias, the driver and co-driver.

Some competitors calling themselves names they could not live up to, pulled out of the rally after their vehicles crashed or gave trouble.

One of them Kasun Perera and his co-driver Ramesh Ubhhayaratne, who called themselves the Iron Man Team, plunged into a precipice at Talawakelle at the fourth stage and quit.

Another driver Richard de Zoysa pulled out unable to withstand the gruelling nature of the rally while steering his Mitsubishi Pajero. His co-driver was Rohan Speldewinde.

Also taking cover and quitting the rally was driver Ajith Fernando from Team Jeep Two after he busted his gear box at the fifth and final stage.

A vehicle driven by Yakub Ariff and supported by co-driver Arshad Kabir is pulled out from a ditch at a location near Kurunegala. The two drivers later joined the rally but finished 20th from among 27 who hit the fiish line

At least two competing vehicles lost their way during the second stage from Matale to Kandy and returned to Kurunegala to restart the journey.

Over 60 percent of the course plotted by Pubudu Wickrema, covered gravel terrain while the rest was run on tarred roads.

Some 30 vehicles set off from Colombo on the first stage to reach Kurunegala via Negombo, Kuliyapitiya, Pannala and Narammala.

The second stage commenced after a thirty minute break and ran through Matale to Kandy covering Rattota and Naula.

From Kandy the drivers passed through Peradeniya and on to Pussellawa, Ramboda, Hewaheta, Rikillagaskada, Tennekumbura and back to Kandy.

After a two hour break the vehicles set off from Kandy and proceeded to Gampola and on to Kotmale, Nawalapitiya, Ruwanwella before reaching Avissawella for the final stage back to Colombo where the finish took place.

Attanayake was no stranger to rally triumphs and already had the Matara Monsoon Rally under his belt along with a previous SLARDAR 1000 title.


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