New track shaped by the Navy to pose unexpected challenges
The newly laid Super Cross track at Welisara named as the Navy Racing Club will get its baptism when the third leg of the Sri Lanka Super Series 2017 is flagged off at 8.30 am on Sunday.
The Sri Lanka Super Series marks an inaugural event for racing drivers and riders by the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR) and the Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC).
The day’s programme will have 91 drivers and 124 riders for the Series championship in different classes. These details were disclosed to the media at a press briefing held in Colombo last Friday. The total number of events scheduled to be worked out according to the day’s program are 11 car and 11 motorcycle events.
Already two segments of the Series have been worked off at Rotherham Circuit at Katukurunda and Fox Hill Super Cross at Diyatalawa and all competitors are eagerly waiting to get the better of the new track in a bid to grab the Sri Lanka Super Series 2017.
Ashan Silva who obtained the highest points for cars from two events and Ishan Dassanayake the leading rider will be in action today challenged by the up-and-coming drivers and riders on this new track. Also in action will be promising young driver Kushan Pieris who has done well this season winning over eight races driving in different classes.
Pieris has been seen on the podium at every event he competed so far this year.
Drivers Dinesh Jayawardena, Pasindu Pieris, Ushan Perera, Aravinda Premadasa and Abeeth Dangalle are sure to pose a big threat to the top driver Ashan Silva.
Shehara Jayawardena and S.A. Lakshika are the only two women drivers who have entered to challenge the male drivers at this meet. Shehara and Lakshika have been on the track for many years and have reached the podium on many instances beating male competitors. This new track also could be a new challenge for these two women drivers according to analysts.
Riders in the calibre of Nihal Premaratne, Sameera Premaratne, Evon Biyage Gurusinghe, Chanuka Jayana Sandaruwan, Lahiru Jeewantha and MCS Perera are billed to challenge the leading riders in the absence of foreign contestants at the meet.
Foreign riders who competed at the last meet in Diyatalawa have confirmed their non-participation due to unavoidable circumstances.
The new track is a concept created by Super Cross champion Gayan Sandaruwan who has been boosted by the Navy Sports Unit. Sandaruwan has won the national title six times and is still a force on the racing track. He suffered an injury during the Fox Hill Super Cross three weeks ago.
The Colombo Super Cross track was designed by Hans Ralf Karpinsky the inventor of the first Sri Lankan Super Cross track at Diyatalawa, the Fox Hill Super Cross way back in 1993.
It was Sandaruwan who initiated the construction of the new track two years ago but could not complete the venture on schedule due to unavoidable circumstances. However with the unstinted support extended by the present commander of the Navy Ravi Wijewardene and the commander Gemunu Watch Welisara Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Sandaruwan was able to see his dream become a reality.
Sandaruwan the mentor of the Navy Racing Club said their main intention is to improve motor racing in Sri Lanka by helping the younger generation to enter the field. The track is made according to foreign standards with the hope of conducting international meets such as the World Championship, Asian Super Cross Championship and the South Asian Championships.
“With the introduction of this track it could be of vital importance for the tourism industry too”, Sandaruwan said.
“The track situated in close proximity to the international airport with hotel accommodation freely available to foreigners is of great value for this sector”.
Sandaruwan said the track will serve interested young drivers and riders to gain their training that will shape them for the future with the help of the hardcore racing drivers and riders.
Youngsters interested in joining the club will be provided with all facilities that include accommodation, gyms and other requirements available throughout the year for all with membership at NRC.
The first Colombo Super Cross is sponsored by CEAT, Stafford Motors, Mobil Lubricants, Causeway Paints and Jeep.
According to the organisers, proceeds from the event will be used to serve families of Navy personnel who sacrificed their lives during the ethnic conflict which lasted for nearly three decades. Navy personnel who have been injured in combat and now battling the odds will also be cared for with the funds generated from the race according to organisers.