On Racer’s Pulse this month, we feature young, talented and upcoming champion Racing Driver Bryan Perera who has carved a laudable name in both the local and international racing arenas. Bryan was the first Junior Formula Champion in the local scene in 2016 and was also the only rookie in 2016 to get a podium position in the Formula LGB category. His achievements have propelled him to go forward and pushed his limits to become a racing driver. Bryan Perera can arguably be said to be one of the top young drivers in Sri Lanka as he was the youngest Formula EFI champion in Sri Lanka and has continued to be a consistent podium winner.
Bryan’s early career runs back to the time when he started Karting as a hobby and took part in a racing competition in India in the year 2006 for the first time before feeling racing on Sri Lankan soil. This adventurous weekend hobby became a serious passion and then a profession for Bryan in the year 2010. During that time the only Sri Lankan Karting track in operation was Speed Drome in Pelawatte. “Karting helps you to get your basics right - it really is the best way to learn racing lines, and you can’t be much of a race car driver if you don’t get your lines right. Karting also gives you some idea about the level of fitness you need to have and maintain; as a racing driver it can be punishing on the muscles, the ribs and bones” said Bryan sharing his expertise and experience. He also gratefully mentioned Mr. Rohan De Silva and Mr. Dinesh Jayawardena who have helped him in numerous ways to uplift his skills by creating opportunities for him to drive the Formula cars. From that moment onwards “I did my best and I am happy to state that I’m the first Sri Lankan to race in Formula FBO2 in India”.
“My parents have always been the pillars of strength behind all my success. I have learned a lot of things on and off the track from them and their views and expertise have always come in handy especially on the track. My parents are really involved in this sport. For instance my mother, Mrs. Shanaki Perera is the team Manager of the BKMS Racing team. My Father, Mr. Saman Perera is also racing with us. My skill and timing improved along the way and that is only because of my father Saman Perera for not giving up on me. It was a great feeling recently to share the podium with my brother Kevin Perera as Winner and first runner up in the Mclaren Formula 1330 category. Mevan Perera my younger brother is also an emerging racing driver.”
Secret to Success
“I think working together as one family is the secret to success in my life. I try my level best at every moment and that pushes me to success”.
“I’m yet to receive a scholarship in USA for my University entrance. Balancing racing life while doing my studies is a challenge. Also racing requires a lot of funding. At the moment my parents assist my funding for the sport. Finding sponsors whilst concentrating on the sport is the biggest challenge. This is one aspect that should greatly improve when we consider racing as a sport in Sri Lanka”.
Reaching the Global Arena
“I’m getting prepared to compete in round three of the 20th JK Tyre national racing championship which is to be held in India. I will be driving in the famous Euro JK17 category behind the wheel of a Formula Car. This is the first time in motor racing history in Sri Lanka that India has extended an invitation for a Sri Lankan to compete in this elite racing event. The race will see top drivers from India and Internationally famed formula drivers in action”.
The cars driven in this category can speed up to 230 km/h. World famous Formula racing drivers in the calibre of Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kyvat have used these same cars under the banner of Red Bull, BMW junior programs.
Bryan went on to say, “I consider it as a great honor to represent my country in this prestigious event and I hope to race well to keep my country’s pride.” Earlier too Bryan has raced in India on an Invitation extended to him by the Indian racing authorities. On many of his previous appearances he has made an impact in the Racing Arena.
Message to Youth
“Racing is not just about speed. You need to have discipline when you are on and off the track. Driving requires a lot of discipline and patience because you can never expect the driver in front of you to drive the way you want. Joining the sport of racing makes you understand safe driving within regulations. It is fun and exciting”.
Message to the Authorities and Corporate Sector
“Racing is sure to become the premier sport in the country very soon. Racing is a real crowd puller and now there’s a huge fan base, followers and spectators for racing than before. It is a good move to see more youngsters coming forward to engage in this sport. So I urge the Corporate sector to identify the potential in racing and make use of the platform for advertising and promotion of their brands. Support a racing driver and get your brand promoted to a wide audience”.
“Recently I reached the podium as the winner in the McLarens Formula 1300 category at the Rotherham Katukurunda races. Also, I won Race One and Two to be the best driver in Group-SL Formula McLarens cars at the recently concluded Night Racing meet held in Pannala. I was placed third in the Rotax Max Junior Championship in India. I also competed in the 19th JK Tyre National championship driving in the famous Formula LGB category and made a podium finish last year. This year I will be driving in Formula BMW at the 20th JK Tyre National Championship. I won the Red Bull Kart Challenge held in Sri Lanka too.
Most Memorable Victory
“Kandy Night race was one of the most memorable driving events I took part in. I started fourth on the Grid and made it to the podium as a winner in the midst of a larger audience. It indeed was a memorable moment”.
Apart from Racing…
“Apart from Racing I love playing Basketball and Soccer. I’m the Captain for both sports. These sports activities help me to keep my fitness level up. Some people think racing doesn’t require much exercises. But racing is a sport that requires more energy and power to drive forward and fitness plays a key role in all of that”.
Prophesying a Future
“I’m preparing myself to compete at the next JK Tyre racing championship and bring a victory to Sri Lanka”.
On behalf of Motor, I wish young and talented emerging racing star Bryan all the best in all his future races and endeavors… and watch out for more reports on his successes in our local and international racing coverage in each issue.