Racecar driver – Eshan Pieris

By Mahika Panditha

Although we are in quarantine right now, I am 100% sure you have heard of or been to the go-karting circuit in Sri Lanka at least once. If not, this is a good opportunity to put it on your to-do list for after the quarantine. Well, that is exactly how our cover feature Eshan Peiris started out with his racing career!

Eshan is currently working for David Pieris Racing and Leisure and is also competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2020 Season. Check him out on Instagram (@eshanpieris) where he shares his journey and experiences – you might even be inspired to try out racing yourself if that is something you enjoy! Eshan’s passion lies in motorsports and he hopes to have a career one day as a racing driver. He is also a “hobby-level” videographer. You can check out his work on the ‘gram.

This week, The Sunday Morning Happinez had a chat with Eshan. Check out what he shared!

Let’s start with talking about racecar driving! How did you get started?

Like all racing drivers, my journey started in go-karts roughly seven years ago, when I decided racing was something I wanted to pursue. Prior to this, it was mainly just me and my friends goofing around at the go-kart track in Battaramulla. Once I decided I wanted to pursue this, I found myself spending almost all my time in Malaysia competing in the Asia Zone championships. During the times I did spend in Sri Lanka, I was homeschooled in order to prepare myself for the Ordinary Level and Advanced Level exams.

What is your favourite memory so far?

Too many to count! But one I will definitely cherish forever would be the F3 win in Malaysia.

What is the best race you have been in?

Also the F3 race I won in Malaysia!

What do you think is the best part about being a racecar driver?

The experience of travelling and constantly being out of your comfort zone. The sport is always full of surprises and the pressure to perform is always present. The adrenaline rush of driving sports cars. It’s thrilling to be involved in an extreme sport.

What is the ultimate goal for you in your racecar driving career?

I hope someday I would end up racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class or even GT (grand tourer). It doesn’t really matter, but competing at that level would most definitely be a dream come true.

Any advice for aspiring racecar drivers?

Karting can teach you a lot more than you would realise. Stay patient and drive go-karts as much as you can.

Other than racecar driving, what do you enjoy doing?

I am very keen on my fitness. I do have slumps where I go a number of days without any sort of workouts, but I am definitely keen on a healthy and fit lifestyle. I also really enjoy photography and videography as a hobby.

How has the quarantine/self-isolation experience been for you?

It has been interesting to work from home and see more of what can be achieved over the phone without having a face-to-face meeting. I have had to stare at a computer screen a little more than usual, but being at home has been a fairly pleasant experience – being near family and having my own flexible working hours. The home workouts have gotten quite boring, but taking breaks and doing more research on different variations allow me to continue it to a certain extent.

On the racing side, Porsche decided that all the drivers should take part in a virtual racing championship, so a good amount of my time has been spent on the simulator prepping for the virtual championship.

What are you doing to pass the time these days?

To be honest, it has been lots of Netflix and the occasional urge to cook something. I also decided to learn how to play the guitar and experiment more with the camera. I do still have to work from home, so free time is fairly limited even though the office is closed.

PHOTOS Gary Khor