(Commonwealth Union)_At the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Motorsport Championship held in France last week, Sri Lanka’s fifteen year old Yevan David made history when he became the first Sri Lankan to win a medal at an international karting championship at this level. Winning silver in the Senior Open Karting category at this championship considered the Olympics of Karting, David is now positioned as No 2 in the world. Racing against 29 racers from 29 countries, David finished with a World Motorsports podium finish, another first for Sri Lanka.
Winning the FIA World Motorsport Championship in the Senior Category was 19-year-old Belgian Ellie Goldstein.
“I’ve represented Sri Lanka in all my races. But having had a year of ups and downs and being the last race for the year in Europe, to carry the Sri Lankan flag on the podium for the very first time was a huge relief and satisfaction,” said David who has been passionate about racing since the age of six. While studying in remote school so he can manage to race in the twenty plus races held annually, David harbours the dream of being the first Sri Lankan Formula 1 World Champion. With this win, he gets one step closer to achieving that dream.
Given Europe’s reputation as the apex of karting which forms the foundation for a racer’s career in Formula 1, David’s dashing performance on the European circuits and especially the FIA Championships this month, has now placed him in the spotlight to get to the next rung of his career – to move into Formula 4 next year.
Earlier, Yevan competed in the third round of the WSK Super Masters Series at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Italy, finishing in overall 15th place from eighty of the best junior drivers in the world. This was only his fourth race in Europe and the placement therefore was considered unprecedented.
David’s performance on the track has always been one of consistency given his penchant for beating drivers from the prestigious Sauber F1 and Mercedes Academies. He will undeniably be poised to be taken note of by some of the world’s best recruiters which include McLaren, Redbull, Mercedes AMG, Ferrari and Sauber.
David’s determination and commitment to his racing is easily observed. At nine, he finished a race with a high fever on a rain-drenched track. “There are challenges everywhere but it’s all about collecting the anger and frustration and turning those into positive elements so you can achieve what you set your mind to do.” Next year, he will race in the KZ category.
The FIA championships are open to drivers from the age of twelve and has over the years seen standards of the competition take on a greater degree of intensity with ultra-competent professional teams on the circuit.