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Dilantha drives Aston Martin for two titles

Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa taking part in four events won two second places in the Asian GT 4 two rounds on his newly acquired Aston Martin and finished seventh and eighth in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) third and fourth rounds at the Shanghai Formula I track here in China yesterday.

Malagamuwa completed the second round of the Asian GT 4 race in 20.15:995 after having provided the winner Singapore's Ringo Chong some anxious moments. Malagamuwa who clocked 20:27:496 in the first round also tested Chong to the maximum in the first round.

"I really enjoyed the Aston Martin. I am sure we can enjoy a good first season in the Aston Martin Cup Asia" said Malagamuwa.

In the PCCA fourth round Malagamuwa had a spin in the first lap after having taken off in the seventh place in the grid and was trailing at 16th place in the second lap. But he came back slowly to finally end up at the eighth place.

Earlier in the morning, Malagamuwa failed to pull off something extra ordinary and was relegated to seventh place in the PCCA having started off as sixth in the grid.

He started rather inauspiciously when some of the drivers collided with the others at the start but the defending champion Tim Sugden of England who started off from the third place in the grid produced a magnificent race to clinch the third round.

Sugden was placed ninth in the overall rankings after the first two rounds of the PCCA championships that were held in Malaysia's Formula I track at Sepang last month.

Sugden who was hampered with problems to his car last month fought back well and came back even after being pushed to fourth place briefly in the fifth lap when his car went off the track.

Malagamuwa failed to keep up the pace with the top four and was trailing behind as early as the second lap when he went off the track in the first bend following an oil slick and he never recovered from that setback.

Ten minutes later, Malagamuwa was back on track on his Aston Martin in the Asian GT championships. Malagamuwa who does not take part in the Asian GT regularly, had entered the two races here to test his new car before the Aston Martin Cup Asia begins in a short while.

This was Malagamuwa's first experience on an Aston Martin in competition and he drove superbly to finish second having started the race as the last off the grid, as he failed to post a good timing at yesterday's qualifying that was marred by heavy rain.

The second place finish stood a monument for the versatility of the reigning Malaysian Super Car champion who is driving a stunning brand new dark blue Porsche 911 Carrera emblazoned with a Sri Lankan flag in PCCA and is sponsored for this season by the newly formed Sri Lanka's first and only racing team "Speed Sri Lanka".

"The controls of the Aston Martin and Porsche are different and you have to adapt quickly when you have two races within ten minutes" said Malagamuwa. Ringo Chong won the event while Mevyn Choo finished third. In the GT 3 event run concurrently, Ferrari drivers run concurrently, Ferrari drivers Yu Kam Cheong, Lee B. Oliver and Cheung Ying Wai Eric finished first second and third.

PCCA and the Asian GT event were held as part of China's most popular motor sports event China Circuit Championships which has races in Shanghai, Beijing, Zhuhai and Chengdu, comprehensively covering the vast country.

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