DILANTHA SPEARHEAD SPECIAL PROGRAMME FOR JAPAN AT MSS RACE

Published on March 29th, 2011

Sri Lanka top racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa will be carrying a special message in support of Japan’s tsunami victims at the Formula 1 PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix while launching his championship assault to win his third Malaysian Super Series crown at Sepang Circuit at the F1 race next month.

“I lived in Japan for 23 years before moving to Malaysia I want to do my bit for the victims to show that we care for them and that they are always in our heart,” said Dilantha, a two-time MSS Supercar champion, who used to compete in the Japan GT series on top of many other international series.

“For the MSS F1 race in Sepang, I will have a big Japanese flag, which will also carry a message ‘We Love And Support Japan. We are always with you.’ … one side in English and the other side in Japanese,” said Dilantha, who would be driving his Porsche GT3 race car in the Malaysian GT Championship.

“I will also have the flag on the car bonnet and the roof as well. All our team crew members and myself and I will wear special T-shirts carrying with same wordings,” he said, adding that he would also have a special ‘taxi rides’ around the circuit programme to raise funds for the tsunami victims.

“I will be speaking to all the other MSS competitors as well and invite them to join in this initiative. We have a duty to support these victims and I am ready to spearhead this programme,” said Dilantha, who runs his Dilango Racing School for racing enthusiasts at the circuit.

“I am made to understand that Sepang International Circuit would also be organizing a special programme in support of Japan’s tsunami victims and I salute them,” said Dilantha, who would also be sending two containers of tea from Sri Lanka to the affected areas in Japan.

Introduced in 2002 and celebrating its 10th edition this year, the MSS car races would be incorporated as support races for the F1 event for the first time in its history. Champion in 2006 and 2007, Dilantha lost his Supercar crown in 2008 to Singaporean Mok Weng Sun, whom he has named as his strongest challenger for the new season along with Malaysian Wira Dani Daim.

“I think it will be Mok and Wira again,” said Dilantha, who like all the other MSS drivers, is looking forward to the opening race next month where they would be sharing the track and some of the limelight with the Formula 1 drivers.

“I think it is the best thing ever for MSS … this might bring in more competitors,” said Dilantha, who was personally in favour of the old ‘open’ class for Supercars as compared to the current Malaysian GT class though he was all for efforts to develop the series.

“There’s no doubt about it that we have to develop it. If you see the Hong Kong Super car is now GT3 Asia. There is lot of good drivers in Malaysia and with good cars. The only thing is that we need to attract them to compete in MSS. I am sure if we do it properly we can have good grid,” he said, adding that incorporating the MSS race as an F1 support race was indeed a massive step forward.

“I am sure there will be plenty of cars this time round; and personally, I think it’s best that we have a rolling start,” said Dilantha as he pointed out the MSS race would be a combined race with the other lower-powered race cars in the Touring Production categories.

Apart from the MSS, Dilantha said that he would be competing in the full season of the GT3 Asia Series as well as few rounds of the European Le Mans Series and a few international endurance races especially Sepang’s 12-hour Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race.

“Winning the MMER will be a top priority. I am also targeting to win again the GT3 Asia title,” Dilantha added.

words & pix: SIC

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