Eshan Pieris becomes first Sri Lankan to win Rotax Max Asian Championship Race

Eshan Pieris winning Round 3 of the Rotax Max Asian Championship in Malaysia on Sunday created history.  He is the first Sri Lankan to win a race in the most competitive Asian go karting championship and has succeeded in placing Sri Lanka on the international karting map.


Eshan showed exceptional driving skills to win against highly-experienced drivers and reigning champions from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.


An old boy of S. Thomas? College, Mt. Lavinia and presently an undergraduate at the Monash University in Malaysia, Eshan represents the RL Karting Team from Malaysia.


Before the race and at the practices, it appeared that Indonesia`s Senna Noor was the one to beat with Prassetyo Hardja also showing formidable pace. Then disaster over took both Eshan and Senna at the Time Trials, when technical issues meant neither turned a lap. This resulted in them starting the heats from second to last and last position respectively.


Brilliant driving in the heats then saw them both move up with Senna taking second place and Eshan coming in a close third.


In the Pre-finals, Eshan shot to the lead briefly but was soon overtaken by Senna Noor, in a Praga, who romped home to a victory with Eshan settling for 3rd place behind a very quick Prassetyo.


The Finals started very well for Eshan and he soon passed Senna to take the lead which he held till the end.


Speaking about the race Eshan said, ?It was amazing to win the 3rd round of the Rotax Max Asian Championship. I came 18th after some issues in Qualifying but kept fighting in every subsequent race to finish in the top three and then eventually took the lead in the second lap of the finals?

?I couldn`t be happier with the support I got from my team RL Karting, my superstar mechanic Raj Raj and my manager and friend Aaron Lim all who worked super hard to get the best possible setup to ensure my success. Thank you to my parents and to all the people who contributed to my first ever international win. Now we push on to become the Asian Champion for 2017?.


This win is even more commendable given that Eshan only started racing at the late age of 14 or so. Most go kart champions, who then go on to F1 careers, start at around the age of 6. His success was clearly the result of very hard work, focus, passion and dedication, especially as he is juggling a full racing calendar while pursuing his university education.


It was recently announced that an Asian X 30 Championship would be held at the Sri Lanka Karting Circuit in Bandaragama. This would be the first time an X30 race is being conducted outside of SE Asia.  Ability to host such as event that would showcase over 50 of Asia?s best karting talent and reigning champions would put Sri Lanka on the karting map internationally and also give young Sri Lankan motor enthusiasts the exposure to the highest level of karting. Hopefully Eshan?s success and the exposure to international races will be the start to Sri Lanka producing more go kart and potential F1 champions.


Next Eshan goes to France for a round of the Euro Championships after which he`ll go to Singapore for the next round of the X30 SEA series.