Yoga Perera - Mini car champion driver and Go-kart champion
Life and times in sports by Premasara Epasinghe
Motor Car Racing is one of the most thrilling sports in the world.
There are many outstanding champion drivers in Sri Lanka. Out of them,
this particular Racing Driver is also a Go-kart National Champion in
1992 and 2000. It was a rare combination. Most of the formula drivers
start their career with Karting.
Born on 16th August 1956, he attended Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo.
During his school days, he took an interest in cricket and athletics.
His elder brother, Nanda Perera, was a great influence on Yoga Perera.
Tall, pleasant, smart, handsome, charismatic former Nalanda and
Hong-Kong National Cricketer Nanda Perera and Yoga grew up together and
from their childhood they took a keen interest in sports.
Yoga Perera was a fine Junior cricketer at Nalanda in the 1960's.
Further, he was an outstanding athlete who established the college
High-Jump Record and also Public school High Jump Record.
Ambition - To become a Racing Driver
"From my childhood, I used to play with toy-cars. I was keen to be a
motor-car racing driver someday or other. Motor car racing was something
I loved. As a kid, I witnessed the best of races at Katukurunda
air-strip. My only dream at that time was to get into the racing track,"
stated Yoga Perera. He achieved his ambition in 1981 when he
participated in the Katukurunda Novices Meet.
"I raced without the knowledge of my parents. Unlike present days it
was not that easy to find spares for cars. Mind you, how much you have
to spend on fuel and tyres. But, later my parents supported me in all my
Yoga's mother Mrs. A. A. L. Perera was a leading social service
worker and an achieve Buddhist worker. They were blessed with three sons
and a daughter.
The year 1990 and 2000 were memorable years in Yoga Perera's Motor
Racing career. He won the Mini Championship at Sriperempatu Track in
Madras, Chennai, India in 1995.
In the year 1989, Yoga Perera, recorded the fastest timing for the
day in the Mini at Radella Speed Hill Club competing with Formula cars
Yoga Perera, in 1989, was placed 3rd in the Gulf Kart Championships
held in Dubai. He participated three times with the Sri Lanka National
Team. Further, he participated in the Malaysian Kart Championship on an
Perera was a great trier. His, never say die attitude was amazing. On
11th October 1986, he represented SLMCC club, drove a Charade, and was
placed 1st in the Race. In 1987, he took part in Katukurunda Races and
with his Mini, he was placed second. In this year, during the month of
April, Mahagastota Hill Climb - upto 1350 cc, he won the day with his
Mini and repeated the victory driving in the Radella Hill Climb. In this
race, he recorded the fastest timing.
Go-Kart Racing Champion
"Speed was something I loved. Added to Motor Car Racing. I tried my
hand in Go-kart Racing," stated unassuming Yoga Perera. He represented
Dubai Kart Club, competed with some of the best Go-kart champions in
1989, and he was placed 6th in racing his Rotax. He was placed 6th out
of 33 karters from Gulf. Most of them were Europeans.
In 1990, he become the undisputed champion of Go-kart Racing in the
Taj Hotel Kart championship. He annexed the championship thrice in 1990
in the Taj Hotel Kart championship.
Yoga and his Mini
In April 1990, again, he was at the wheel at the Nuwara Eliya April
Road Race open championships. He drove the Mini and was placed 1st in
this Race. Further, he maintained his winning spree in the Karudupona
Hill Climb too.
From 1986-2000, Yoga Perera was one of the most outstanding racing
drivers with his Mini and an outstanding kart driver. He won many Races
here and aborad and brought credit and honour to the country. He has won
many trophies in his distinguished career.
"I had the big fortune and win almost all the racing tracks in Sri
Lanka-Katukurunda, FoxHill, Gajaba, Kandy, Ratnapura, Galle, Ratmalana,
Radella, Mahagastota, Kandy and Pannala.
Two accidents - Not hurt
Yoga Perera had two nasty accidents in Kandy and in Katukurunda.
"My Mini summersaulted a couple of times. I escaped without a
scratch, due to safety precautions, said smiling Perera.
In his outstanding and memorable career, he had the distinction of
racing with such greats like Priya Munasinghe, M. Iqbal, Leslie N. De
Silva. Rodney Mason and Mahes Gammanpila to name a few.
Yoga is married to Chitra. They tied the nuptial knot in 1988. Yoga's
wife Chitra is a tower of strength to him. They have two sons Jivanka
and Thiran. They are studying at Stafford International school, Colombo