Ashan Silva yet again ascertained his status as the Best Driver in the country while Evon Gurusinghe won his first overall best rider title of the year clinching the Walawa Supercross 2017 crowns at the race meet that concluded today (17th) at the Craftsman Auto-drome in Sevaagala, Udawalawa.
Situated in the boundary of the wet and dry zone of Sri Lanka, there is hardly any rain in Udawalawa during this time of the year. Today however it was different story as the sky looked gloomy prior to the commencement of the days precedings and a heavy downpour went through the track just as the official parade completed. With the Sevanagala track having a reputation for being one of the dustiest in the country, the showers were welcome but excessive showers would have tamed the speeds of the events with the drivers and riders finding it hard to find their rhythm on the slippery surface.
In the Group MX up to 250cc first Moto which was tightly contested, Gayan Sandaruwan managed a good start and capitalized on his early lead using the wealth of experience that he poses. Evon Gurusinghe was placed second after a hard fight while Jaqcues Gunawardane was placed third in the race. In the second Moto of the same race, it was Evon who took the early lead and despite a great fight from Jaqcues who challenged him, managed to extend the lead and take control of the race. Gayan Snadaruwn who did not have a great start, but managed to claw his way back to the third position which he held until the 6th lap of the race. At the end of the sixth, Gayan exploited a loose line by Gunawardane and capitalized on the opportunity to be placed 2nd in the second moto of the day. Evon was adjudged the Best rider for his victories in the MX 250, Std/Mod and Mx 125 events.
In the SL GT Cars up to 3500cc race which attracts the largest spectator interest and is considered the fastest race of the country, up and coming driver Kushan Peiris was qualified ahead of experienced Ashan Silva on the back of a great performance on the qualifying day. In the first Moto of the race Kushan and Ashan got into loggerheads with each other while Pasindu Peiris who was making a return to the racing circuit after a near fatal accident at Uva- Kuda oya circuit in May, provided the two race leaders fierce competition. Kushan’s lead was short lived as Ashan Silva managed to get in front of Kushan and drive his way to the checkered flag while Pasindu finished third to complete the podium.
Kushan was impatient to square the scores with Ashan in the second moto and attempted a risky corner swerve which resulted in him loosing balance of the vehicle and spinning out of the track. Pasindu ‘drove his heart out’ in the hopes of unsettling Ashan, but had to be satisfied with a second-place finish while Ishraq Wahab completed the podium. Ashan was crowned the undisputed ‘prince of the track’ for his dominant display and is sure to be crowned as the National Champion of the 2017 racing season even with two racing events remaining in the year.
There was a large spectator gathering at the race with amazing enthusiasm shown by the crowds from the surrounding areas. The writer is confident that the numbers present today if not more was definitely similar to the amounts seen at the iconic Foxhill Supercross, the oldest racing event of the Island. The organizers, Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers regiment had made arrangements for a special raffle draw for the spectators that gathered in numbers and were gifted with various prizes with the first prize being a brand-new motorcycle. With the conclusion of Walawa Supercross only two races remain in the 2017 with Sigiriya rally cross scheduled for 01st of October and Katukurunda tarmac challenge to be worked out in November for the 2017 national champions to be crowned in their respective disciplines.