Gajaba Super cross 2016 the iconic racing event organized by the Gajaba regiment of Sri Lanka Army was worked out during the 27th & 28th August with the finals taking place on 28th Sunday.
Organized for the 15th time 22 exciting races were worked out on Sunday at the Saliyapura race track and was eagerly followed by country’s racing enthusiast as it was the last leg of the SLADA championship.
Starting off the proceedings for the day the aspiring young talent took the first lease of the race track in the MX Motorcycles (Junior) over 65CC up to 85CC (2T) – Under 13 event . It was great start to an enthralling day of racing with the young riders eager to make their mark battling out with each other. DMD Kalhara claimed the first pole position of the day in his KTM with Kesara Godage and Inuka Amendra coming in second and third respectively. The next event of the day MX Motor Cycles (Junior) up to 50CC for 7 – 10 years saw the crowd cheering away the young tots making their mark in the race track. Anjana Weerawardena got into a good lead at the start and was victorious and Minuka Ratnayake and Vendu Dewanka finishing second and third to complete the podium finishes.
In the first Motor car race of the day which was SL-E Cars up to 1000cc (Nissan March) Devin Serasinghe battled it out with Sachith Pathirana for top honours through the 4 laps and came on top displaying some great skill in the corners. Yasith Gamage finished behind Pathirana to book the third place.
Ushan Perera who has been the dominating driver of the gravel circuit was in command straight away in the SL-GT cars up to 3500CC (Race 01) he showed why he is the one to beat in the super car event breaking away from the rest early on to win the race comfortably. Dinesh Jayawardana came in second with Sajaad Zuhair coming in third. Pasindu Peiris a driver who dominated the track had to be satisfied with the 04th position while Ishraq Wahab driving a Subaru Impreza in a race dominated by Mitsubishi Evo’s took 5th position.
Along with the thrill and the action on offer racing is a sport that flirts with danger at every turn and the first accident of the day was witnessed in the Group SL-H Cars up to 1618CC event where Dilan Hewawasam went crashing into the partition with the automotive settling on its head after he misjudged a corner. Shehara Jayawardana the only female driver to compete at Gajaba Super cross got onto a the lead in her iconic pink top Honda EG 06 but was out driven by Irfan Fuard and Zaakir Wahahb who finished first and second places respectively.
In the first Super Motard event of the day Imal Manchanayake finished in pole at the completion of 07 laps with Deshan Solanki in second and Srimal Malavige in third position to complete the podium finishes of the SM-Super Motard including 250cc up to 750cc (4T) & Including 125CC up to 550 CC (2T) mono/twin Cylinder race.
An upset was on the cards in the much awaited MX- Over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) & Over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) MX (1st Race) event. A race that has been dominated by Ishan Dassanayake saw Sameera Premaratna falling at the start and exciting the race which caused Ishan to start the race as the 6th placed rider. It was always going to be difficult for Ishan to recover from that start though he has been the most dominant rider in the event this year with the likes of Shehan Adikari, Gayan Sandaruwan , Shanuk Sadaruwan in the lead but it was Evon Gurusinghe who was in the lead after a perfect start and broke away from nth rest of the pack. Dassanayake managed to claw his way back to the second place and pushed Gurusinghe in the last laps but he conceded an unassailable lead which saw Gurusinghe taking the pole position for the first time this year in the podium with Dassanayke in second and Adikari at third.
In the Group M STD/MOD up to 125cc (2T) event which saw the most number of entrants Nihal Wijerathna won the race with a handy lead in his KTM with E A P N Ederisinghe coming in second and Ashen Shehara coming in third respectively. Ishan Dasanayeka displayed why he is the one to beat in the motor cross track as he bounced back to clinch the MX- Motor Cross bikes over 100cc up to 125cc event comfortably with Sameera Pemarathne who took a fall in the earlier race putting up a good performance to finish second ahead of Nama Saumya Kumara who finished third.
It was a repeat of the first race for Ushan Perera in the SL GT cars up to 3500 CC (Race 2) as he won the race convincingly. However Pasindu Peiris who had to be satisfied with the 5th position in the earlier race came out with an absolutely gutsy performance and displayed some brilliant skill overtaking others in the corners and secured the 2nd position. Dinesh Jayawardene came in third in a fast paced race that had the crowd in complete awe.
Ishan Dassanayake was determined not to make a poor start undermine his success second time around and was seen adjusting the gravel with his boots at the start point just before the start of the MX- Over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) & Over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) MX (2nd Race) Dassanayake got on to a great start with Evon Gurusinghe at his trail throughout the race but could not catch up to Dassanayake. Sameera Premarathne who had a disappointing start to the first race having encountered a fall at the starting point secured the third place.
Ushan Perera was adjudged the best driver at the event while Ishan Dassanayake was adjudged the best rider. Both of them also won the SLADA championship for the year 2016 for their dominance in the racing arena this year. Team CEAT was adjudged the best team in both Car and Motor bike category while Young Anjana Weerawardane walked home with the Best young rider award.