Nestled in the climes of Sevanagala Craftsman Autodrome is a race track adjacent to the Udawalawe National park.
This challenging race track is the home of Walawe Supercross, a racing spectacle all motor sport enthusiasts look forward to. The 2016 edition of the annual fund raising event of Sri Lanka Army Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (SLEME) with the technical support of Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club (SLMCC) was held on the 11th September 2016.
With really dry weather prevailing in the area during the bygone months the race track was very dusty as expected. Credit should be given to SLEME for their brilliant work in efficiently watering the tracks to guarantee the safety of the competitors and ensuring that the large crowds that gathered to witness this gala event were unhindered by the conditions.
Promising Buddika the king of defense services
Walawe Supercross was sparked up with the Group MX Racing motocross bikes Over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) event for the Defense Services competitors. With many of the top names in the motocross representing the army, a thriller was on the cards and a thriller it was with a fabulous battle taking place amongst Mithun Sigera, Namal Kumara, Buddika Silva and Sameera Premarathne for top spots. Buddika Silva the valiant rider from Sri Lanka Army, who has been a tough challenger in the open events won the battle with Sameera Premarathne to finish in pole position while Namal Kumara edged out Mithun Sigera to clinch the 3rd Place.
The Group SL-N Ford Laser/Mazda 1300cc was a fast paced contest with the top two drivers Kushan Peiris and Upulwan Serasinghe going at each other from the start of the race. Kushan’s pole positions in the grid proved vital as he never let the more experienced campaigner Serasinghe get the lead. Kushan collected his first win of the day with Serasinghe in second and Akila De costa finishing third. In the Group SL-N Ford Laser/Mazda 1500cc the top two spots went to the same victors as the 1300cc race with Nishantha Senadeera, who had to be satisfied with the 4th place in the 1300cc event, managing to do one better and securing third place. The first unfortunate accident of the day took place when Shavin Wijerathne misjudged the tricky turn at the beginning of the race and his automobile went toppling over.
Bad outing for Ishan
There was a big upset was on the cards in the Group MX – Racing Motorcycles over 100cc up to 125cc (2T), an event that has been dominated this year by Ishan Dassanayake. Dassanayake got onto a good start, gaining the lead early on in the race but was closely followed by the two army riders Buddika Silva and Sameera Premarathne of Sri Lanka Army, Silva overtook Dassanayake in the 03rd lap of the 6 Lap race to the surprise of everyone and in the 04th Lap Premarathne edged out Dassanayake to put him in 3rd place. It was observed that Dassanayake seem to be struggling with his bike malfunctioning and was not able to catch up to Silva and Premarathne who increased their leads. At the presentation soon after the race, it was observed that Silva, who impressed with his run, actually had a flat rear tire but still managed to clinch the top spot.
Pasindu Peiris retains the Walawe Best driver title
The action packed Group SL GT Cars up to 3500cc race fondly known as the Super car event was going to be an interesting battle with Ushan Perera, who has been tremendously successful this year, starting off from the back of the grid having met with an accident in the timing races. It was always going to be difficult for Ushan as Pasindu Peiris, who is an experienced driver and a previous champion at the Walawe Super Cross in pole position at the starting grid. Pasindu was commanding in the front with little to no fight form the other contestants and showed why he is one of the best in the event. Missaka Naveen clinched the second position with Kamal Prassana coming in third. Ushan Perera, after the back of the grid start, had to be satisfied with the 04th place finish. In the second race of the same competition a flurry of accidents took place but did not rattle Pasindu Peiris who drove on to become the Champion Driver at the Walawe Supercross wining both races comfortably with Ushan Perea coming in second and Missaka Naveen coming in third.
First title for Gayan Sandaruwan in three years
In the Group MX-Racing Motocross Bikes over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) & Over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) it was a disappointing finish for Ishan Dassanayake, who has taken the event by storm this year, as he only managed the 5th position in the first race and met with a horrible accident in the second. Evon Gurusinghe who got on to a brilliant start won the first race with the veteran Gayan Sandaruwan coming in second while the army duo Buddika Silva and Sameera Premarathne finished in 03rd and 04th place respectively. In the second race a nasty collision at the very first jump of the race saw a number of riders exiting the contest which included Ishan Dassanayake, Evon Gurusinghe to name a few but Gayan Sandaruwan kept his nerve to win the race comfortably and was adjudged the best rider at the Walawe Supercross 2016; his first title in three years.