Expecting to inject a new lease of life to the field of motor sports, the Sri Lanka Army Motor Sports Committee (SLAMSC), chaired by Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi got the Inter Regiment Motor Racing Championship - 2019 organized at the Gajaba Motor Racing Track on Saturday (2).
42 competitors from the Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA), Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), Sri Lanka Light Infantry, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, Gajaba Regiment, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Corps of Engineers Services (CES), Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLSC), Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME), and Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) vied in the tournament.
Sri Lanka Electrical Mechanical Engineers Regiment (SLEME) won the overall Championship and the Runner-up trophy went to the drivers and riders of the Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC). Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) participants were adjudged the first runner -up in overall performance. The trophy for the Best Rider was awarded to Private D. B. K Silva of the Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC).
Major General Dharshana Hettiaarachchi, Chairman, SLAMSC and Commander, Security Forces-Jaffna attended the event as the Chief Guest at Saliyapura, together with several Senior Oficers. The idea of having an inter regiment motor racing championship came up in the year 2005, but battlefield commitments during the peak of LTTE terrorism did nor permit troops to go ahead with that plan.
The motor racing, introduced to the Army in 1991 has been an annual feature among several regiments drawing hundreds of best drivers and riders from every corner of the island and at times even from neighbouring countries. It aims to promote and nurture racing skills among Army personnel to match with international standards.
German and Swedish engineers who came to construct the Kotmale and Randenigala dams under the Mahaweli project in 1980s showed a keen interest in Motor Racing, resulting in the construction of a racing track near the Kotmale dam in 1981. Preliminary racing events attracted the participation of soldiers and woman soldiers of Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police.
With the experience gained by the Army motor sports competitors from those motor racing events, the first Sri Lanka Army motor racing track was built in Muthukumarana Ground inside the Army cantonment in Panagoda in 1982. In the year 1993, a permanent motor racing track, called the 'Fox Hill Supercross' was built in Diyatalawa the Fox Hill area, generally used by the Sri Lanka Military Academy for field exercises of Officer Cadets under training.
With the founding of the Army Motor Racing Committee & the ‘Fox Hill Super Cross’ the motor racing car/bikes events gradually turned most popular among the general public. Later, the Gajaba Supercross, Vijayabahu motocross & Gunners super cross came into being as annual events since the years 2000 & 2004. Motor racing was rated as the second most popular sport in the country, second only to Cricket.
At present, Sri Lanka Army maintain 8 Motor Cross TT The first Inter Regiment motor racing championship was organized by SLAMSC in 2017 at Gajaba Supercross Track – Saliyapura.racks across the country. Fox Hill Super Cross - Diyatalawa of Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), Sappers Gympo at Embilipitiya Sri Lanka Engineers, Gajaba Super Cross at Saliyapura, Vijayabahu Super Cross at Boyagane, Minneriya Artillery Supercross, Calvary Super Cross at Pangolla, Walawa Super Cross at Udawalawa SLEME and the Commando Challenge Super Cross at Kuda Oya are among the most leading.
The motor racing sport has gifted the second highest number of national level championships to the Sri Lanka Army in 2017 due to active support of present SLAMSC members. In the recent past, a few national Championships and SLADAR Championships were also won.
Results of the 3rd Inter Regiment Motor Racing Championship – 2019, held on Saturday (2) at the Gajaba Super Cross Track at Saliyapura are as follows;
1st Event - Group M STD/MOD Bikes 100cc up to 125cc Novices Event
First Place – Private L. G. D. B Gamage – SLASC
Second Place – Private G. P. C. S Deshapriya - SLE
Third Place – Private W. A. C Dulanga - VIR
2nd Event - Group MX Racing Bikes 100cc up to 125cc
First Place - Private D. B. K Silva – SLSC
Second Place - Private A. W. L. J Kumarasinghe – SLASC
Third Place - Corporal H. M. J. S Premarathna – VIR
3rd Event - Group M STD/MOD Bikes 100cc up to 125cc
First Place - Private A. H. A Shehara – SLEME
Second Place - Private K. A. D. R Jayashan – SLEME
Third Place - Private M. P. C. S Kumara– SLEME
4th Event - Group SM – Super motorad including 250cc up to 500cc
First Place - Private W. G. S Amarasooriya – SLEME
Second Place – Captain A. A. L. N Adikari – SLSR
Third Place - Private J. M. S Rathnayake - SLEME
5th Event - Group M STD/MOD Bikes 175 cc up to 250cc
First Place - Private A. W. L. J Kumarasinghe – SLASC
Second Place - Private B. I Maduranga – SLCMP
Third Place - Private K. A. D. R Jayashan - SLEME
6th Event - Group MX - Racing Bikes 175 cc up to 250 cc
First Place - Private D. B. K Silva – SLSC
Second Place – Corporal H. M. J. S Premarathne – VIR
Third Place – Lance Corporal B. M. I. S Basnayake - SLCMP