Kelum WJ Projects Drive to Negombo

Five owners with one common factor drive up for some car talk

Published on 31 Jul 2023

An automotive engineer by profession, Kelum Wijayawardhana is currently Director of Engineering and Operations at Modicon Automotive, a component manufacturer for local automotive assembly operations. A mechanical engineer by profession, Kelum has been captivated by cars ever since he can remember. As a hobby, he finds ways to tune cars to make them better. This has garnered him a small but dedicated base of customers, and gave rise to KelumWJ Projects in 2018. It seems fitting, then, that five years on, he would gather some customers together for a drive and fellowship to Negombo via the expressway, and on to Jetwing Blue for some breakfast and banter.

Featured on this drive were the tuned Daihatsu Copen of Dr. Tharinda Dalpethado, which is pushing over 80hp at the wheels, and is easily the fastest Copen in Sri Lanka by a significant margin. The Kandy-based Doctor’s car has been featured on the pages of Motor before, and is quite something to behold.

Then, there’s Dr. Mal Ramanathan, a friend of Dr. Dalpethado who owns a white Suzuki Swift RS that’s currently a work-in-progress. We plan to feature it once it’s ready.

On the European side, we’ve got Dinal Attanayaka in his Audi A5 Coupe. The A5 Coupe is quite a rare sight in Sri Lanka with just a handful of cars, as most buyers tend towards the four-door variant. This car has also been featured in Motor, where it’s received some intake and exhaust mods from Kelum, as well as a custom tune for more power.

Then, we had Lahiru Polgolla join us in his Suzuki Celerio, which is a manual variant with a surprisingly high specification. The Celerio may not be an apparent choice for tuning, so it’s a pleasing companion on this drive, and we’re waiting to feature it in Motor once it’s ready.

Finally, we were joined at Kerawalapitiya by Angelo Thumbawila in his Ford Capri with its throaty Cologne V6 and accompanying exhaust note setting a lovely soundtrack, and showing that even classics can benefit from some tasteful tuning…

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