The qualification day of the Fox Hill Supercross 2018 which is bound to set the picturesque Diyatalawa mountain range alight tomorrow (21st), was held today (20th) at the Fox Hill Supercross race track situated inside the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa.
The pre-race day proceedings kicked off with the Motorcyclists taking the first lease of the track where they aimed at familiarizing themselves with the track conditions and testing their machines prior to the showpiece event tomorrow. In what turns out to be an interesting addition, the organizers have added a couple of jumps to the start of the Super-motored event which presents a unique challenge to the competitors. This move is aimed at lifting the standards of the competition to the Asian standards which will prepare the local riders for the regional competitions. National Champion Imal Manchanayake will be given a run for his money by the likes of Deshan Solanki, Uddika Malavige and Sachira Rajakaruna who are experienced campaigners.
MX Racing up 250cc 4 Stroke event, which attracts the most crowd interest in the bike category, is promising to be a terrific race with plenty of household names set to take part in the competition. The reigning national Champion and the best rider Fox Hill super cross for two years running, Ishan Dassanayake has recovered from his shoulder injury and looked to be in good rhythm during the practice run today. The veteran champion rider Gayan Sandaruwan, who missed last year’s competition through injury, has returned to the country’s premier race and will be looking to get back on the podium. Young Evon Gurusinghe who is one of the leading young riders in the country was arguably the most impressive rider during practice and will be looking to create an upset. The Army duo Sameera Premarathne and Buddika Silva are fierce competitors who will be difficult to beat if given enough space to dominate.
In what will be a momentous occasion, the legendary Wedisinghe name will returned to the racing tracks of the country as Ken Wedisinghe, Son of late Ananda Wedisinghe, is in Sri Lanka to take part in the MX Racing up 250cc 4 Stroke in what will be an emotional occasion. Legendary rider Ananda Wedisinghe was involved in a fatal crash a day after last year’s Foxhill race. Ananda was bestowed an honorary award at the 25th Fox Hill Supercross. Ken has both local and international experience having competed in the motocross competitions in Japan as well.
In the fastest event of the competition, SL GT Cars up to 3500cc event, aka the super car event, National Champion Ashan Silva showcased why he was the champion managing to blitz through the course. Silva who holds the track record at Fox Hill with the time of 40.445secs was close to renewing it again with a best lap time of 40.851secs. Kushan Peiris who challenged Ashan all the way through and was impressive earned the second place in the grid clocking 41.008secs. This competition is also going to be one for the ages with big names lining up for tomorrow’s main event which will no doubt be a thriller.
Grid placement for SL GT Cars up to 3500cc
- Ashan Silva
- Kushan Pieris
- Aravinda Premadasa
- Janaka Dias
- Ishraq Wahab
- Ushan Perera
- Kaushalya Samarasinghe
- Tyronne Hendavitharana
- Missaka Naveen
- Rizvi Farook
- Kapila Nishantha
- Sajaad Zuhair
Young Kushan Peiris who was outclassed by Ashan in the SL GT despite putting up a valiant fight did brilliantly earlier in the day competing in two race qualifiers. Kushan will start in the podium in both Group SL N Ford Laser/Mazda 1500cc event and Group SL H Cars up to 1618cc event. Kushan had a terrific run in the SL H with his best lap recorded at 43.481secs.
The 26th edition of Sri Lanka’s premier race is undoubtedly going to be an action-packed thriller which will leave the eager fans with heavy doses of adrenalin pumping through their veins. Log on to Sri Lanka’s #1 Sports Hub www.ThePapare.com to be updated from the beautiful climes of Diyatalawa.