The flagship motor racing event of the Army's Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR), 'Vijayabahu Motorcross - 2018' hand in hand with the Sri Lanka Racing Riders Association will kick off along VIR tracks in Boyagane, Kurunegala for the 16th consecutive year on 17 June with more than 80 famed competitors, including foreign riders, so said Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Colonel of the Regiment, VIR during the first Media briefing regarding the event, held at Colombo Mirage hotel on Friday (25).
In the backdrop of natural landscape of historic Ethugalpura, the Vijayabahu Motocross - 2018, the challenging tracks at Boyagane, undoubtedly will offer a challenging task for prominence, amidst a vast gathering of motor racing fans and riders as one of the most outstanding and prominent racing events in the country. Funds raised from the annual event are channelled to provide optimum welfare facilities to VIR family members, including family members of fallen & handicapped War Heroes, serving All Ranks and members of the Civil Staff, the briefing was told.
Optimum qualitative standards of the races, maintained every year giving utmost care to every component including lay-out of challenging tracks have attracted interest and enthusiasm of foreign riders too, according to the organizers. ESER Marketing, Sri Lanka Insurance Ltd, Hutch Ltd, Honda Company, Elephant House and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation as main sponsors have thrown their weight behind the mammoth event.
Vijayabahu Motocross, motor racing event was organized for the first time in the year 2000 exclusively with riders of the Sri Lanka Army, those of Wayamba province and a few from elsewhere in the country with a view to popularizing the sport and also raising funds for welfare of the members of the Regiment as well as their families including those who laid down their lives or became differently able, having fought valiantly in the fierce war against terrorists before May 2009.
Last year’s Vijayabahu Motocross concluded exceptionally well in the eyes of motor-racing lovers, again with more than 80 competitors drawn from everywhere, including Sehan C. Adikari, Ishan Dissanayake, Ivon B. Gurusinghe, Sameera Premarathne, Nihal Wijeratne, Lahiru Jeewantha, Buddika Silva, Jax Gunawardene, Gayan Sadaruwan and international riders from India and Japan. Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment's organizing capacity came to the fore during all past races and epitomized its magnitude. This year’s event will undoubtedly become a great success with the unreserved commitment and organizing capacity of Colonel of the Regiment, Centre Commandant and All Ranks, senior officers attending the Media briefing added.
Funds hitherto raised by previous Motocross events were utilized for noble ventures such as construction of houses for members of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, provision of infrastructure facilities for officers and other ranks, award of scholarships and donation of computers for children of Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment members as incentives. Equally, the regiment has built a gymnasium and a playground to develop sport abilities of officers and other ranks in the regimental premises using those funds. At present, even some schools in the Wayamba province use these facilities on request.
Several VIR senior officers, including Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Colonel of the Regiment, VIR and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, Brigadier Chandana Gunawardane, Commandant, Officer Carrier Development Centre - Buttala, Brigadier Srinath Ariyasinghe, Center Commandant, VIR were present during the Media briefing.