The inaugural edition of the Colombo Supercross, held at the Navy Racing Club (NRC) track was completed yesterday (7th) in Welisara.
The closest gravel racing precinct to the capital, thus named the Colombo Supercross is a grand addition to the country’s gravel racing circuits in the Island due to its proximity to the capitol city and for being the first gravel racing track of the western province.
22 events were worked out at the race meet with the participation of over 150 competitors who battled in 11 motor bike and car races. With skies opening up on the previous day the organizers had a struggle to get the track ready and dry for the race as some spots on the car track seemed to be soggy and muddy. Organizers then decided to work out the motorbike races until the car track dried up. The Motorcycle track which is 1.8km in length seems to be in great state and provides some exciting challenges for the riders and in turn a thrilling experience for the viewers. The car race track on the other hand is only 1.2km in length and could use an extension and more work as many drivers were of the opinion that the course was too short and needed improvement in some corners.
Great day of racing for the Rathnayake’s
Twins Minuka and Rivinu Rathnayake were dominant from the onset of the Group J –Motor Cycles (Junior) up to 50CC commonly known as the PW event. Identically geared twins in identical machines got off to a great start and dominated the race. Rivinu was quick to take the lead and was challenged throughout the two laps by his sibling Minuka who came second despite attempting to get the better of Rivinu during the 2 lapped race.
While the Rathnayake twins dominated the PW event their cousin Bhanuka Ratnayake continued his good form from Fox Hill to Colombo as he managed to win back to back titles in the Group J – MX over 65cc up to 85cc (2T) and up to 150cc(4T) – under 16 event. Bhanuka did not have a great start but managed to get in the lead after the second lap and successfully rode out the competition through the 4 lapped race. Under 13 & 16 National champion of last year D.M.D Kalhara who is recovering from an injury sustained prior to the Asian Championship last year took part in the rest although he did look like he was struggling with the jumps. Kalhara finished 5th in the race and will take the points forward for the championship.
In a sport like motor racing where uncertainty and unpredictability are the main components , ‘Incredible’ Imal Manchanayake has been the most consistent Supermotard rider in the gravel circuit. Irrespective of the event, condition of the track and competition it’s not only the fact that Imal has come out as a victor but the fashion in which he dominates the race is noteworthy. Colombo Supercross was no different as Manchanayake dominated both Supermotard motos of the day to become the undisputed champion at Colombo Supercross
Shanuka Sandaruwan, brother of veteran rider and 9 time national champion Gayan Sandaruwan who was also the race coordinator of Colombo Super Cross 2017made sure that his brothers temporary absence from racing due to injury would not affect the podium finishes the Sandaruwan family is used to. Shanuka was adjudged the best rider at the inaugural Colombo Supercross having managed podium finishes in all races that he competed in. In the Group M- STD/MOD Motorcycles over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) & over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) Shanuka managed to overcome all threats to be placed 1st in both Motos.
It was not easy sails for Shanuka in the Group MX – over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) & over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) event that had lost some of its glamour as many leading riders in the likes of Ishan Dassanayke , Gayan Sandaruwan, Evon Gurusinge and Shehan Adikari not taking part in the race mainly due to injury concerns. However spectators that gathered were not disappointed as the battle ensued between young Jin Liyanage and Shanuka Sandaruwan for supremacy in the MX 250 event. In the first Moto of the race Liyanage got onto the lead from the start of the race. Shanuka Sandaruwan who is also a member of the Navy racing team rode aggressively and managed to get the better of Liyanage in the aerial jumps but was outsmarted by Jin Liyanage who managed to get the better of him in the corners. Liyanage finished the race in front of Sandaruwan to win the first MX 250at the super cross. In the 2nd Moto of the same race Sandaruwan seemed to have realized that he was beaten by Liyanage due to his poor judgment in the corners and came back fighting in the race as he cramped Liyanage in the corners not letting him get the inside line and thus winning the race. Shanuka was awarded the maiden title of Best Rider for his heroics at the supercross.
Ashan Silva makes racing look easy
Incredible Ashan Silva who made a return to the gravel track at Fox hill last month after a lengthy lay off due to his racing commitments in Dubai started off where he left off as he dominated both Motos of SL GT cars up to 3500CC race. Ashan was in command from the word go and made it look simple dealing with the tricky corners of the track. The first race saw Ashan in pole position with Pasindu Peiris and Ushan Perera occupying the second and the third places of the grid respectively. Ushan who had mechanical trouble with his automobile at the Foxhill had to again retire from the race as the trouble returned mid race in the first Moto. Pasindu finished second behind Ashan in the first moto while Nishan Wasalathanri finished 3rd in the first Moto. In the second Moto the first two places remained the same while Manish Gunathilaka came in third.