COIMBATORE: To fulfil dreams, a sportsperson travels to many places in search of opportunities and recognition. Nineteen-year-old Sri Lankan race driver Brayan Perera is one among them. Seen on Indian tracks for about four years now, his efforts came to fruition on Sunday when he won two of three Euro JK 18 races (part of the JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship) in the first round of the season on the Kari Motor Speedway here.
He finished fifth in the last race and had finished sixth on Saturday. Born in Sri Lanka, Brayan spent a good seven years in New Delhi due to his father’s job commitments. “When in Delhi, I got hooked to karting sometime in 2009.
And then I decided to race professionally. I got my training in Sri Lanka. There is a container holding company owner who is a racing enthusiast. He brings cars from abroad and trains us,” he told Express. However, he received professional-level training from former racer and FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim ever since he decided to race in India in 2015.
“He is a really good teacher.” In Brayan’s words, motorsports is popular in Sri Lanka. “India has bigger sponsors and the quality of racing is better, but back home it’s bigger in the sense that there are a lot of categories. It’s probably the third most popular sport, after cricket and rugby.” Sunday’s double was his first two wins in this category. “Last year I had some car issues, so I could not perform.” Though he excelled in the first round, he is still waiting on a seat confirmation from JK Tyres for the rest of the season, which has three more rounds.
“If JK gives a seat, I will be back. Otherwise, I will race in Sri Lanka. I have not been given a seat for the whole season. Others have, since they have been racing in this category for a long time. I am hopeful since I collected a lot of points in the first round.” While Brayan’s dreams are not too different from any car racer, he is realistic. “My ultimate dream is F1. Realistically, I would love to be involved with a formula team in any capacity, say as an engineer. I start my major in engineering in August. I have given myself six years. If I do not reach the pinnacle of this sport, I will aim differently.”
Euro JK 18, Race 2: 1. Bryan Perera (15:22.568); 2. Nayan Chatterjee (15:26.377); 3. Ashwin Datta (15:29.942). Euro JK 18, Race 3: 1. Bryan Perera (14:15.491); 2. Nayan Chatterjee (14:17.269); 3. Ashwin Datta (14:23.294). Euro JK 18, Race 4: 1. Karthik Tharani (15:33.789); 2. Ashwin Datta (15:34.334); Nayan Chatterjee (15:34.403). LGB 4, Race 2: 1. Rohit Khanna (16:56.965); 2. Chittesh Mandody (16:59.249); 3.
Vishnu Prasad (17:02.297). LGB 4, Race 3: 1. Raghul Rangasamy (21:56.544); Chittesh Mandody (21:57.698); 3. Vishnu Prasad (21:59.430).Suzuki Gixxer Cup, Race 2: 1. Joseph Matthew (14:16.799), 2. Syed Muzamil Ali (14:18.749); 3. Malsawmdawngliana (14:19.951). Red Bull Rookie, Race 2: 1. Zothanmawia (14:36.129), 2. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia (15:04.514); 3. Andy Lalhmangaihsang (15:13.476).