The 2017 edition of the Cavalry Supercross, one of the premier events in Sri Lanka’s motor racing calendar, is scheduled to be held on 2nd July 2017 at the Cavalry Supercross race track in Pangolla, Kurunegala. The race is organized by the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC) in collaboration together with the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR).
The Cavalry Supercross was conceptualised by Brigadier Indunil Ranasinghe who is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Defence & Admin) of the Kotelawala Defence University. Having being inaugurated in 2010, the event is considered a primarily a fund-raising project with a focus on providing improvements to welfare facilities that are made available for the immediate families of Officers and men killed or maimed in battle.Furthermore, the eventis known to assist in developing necessary infrastructure within the camps such as housing for serving officers and men, working environments, recreational facilities, medical, billets and dining facilities.Looking ahead, the Cavalry Supercross is expected to be an event that will be a source of sustainable income to feed such welfare projects within the Corps.
Addressing the audience at the Media Briefing presided over by Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage, Master General Ordnance / Colonel Commandant of Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Brigadier Indunil Ranasinghe – Chairman of the Organising Committee stated, “It gives me great pleasure to witness the arrival of the Cavalry Supercross for yet another year. As in previous years, thousands of racing fans will have the privilege of watching some of the best drivers and riders in action as they push themselves to the limit to come out victorious. This specially-designed track, which gives consideration to the surrounding environment, is the perfect setting for these individuals to showcase their talents and sharpen their skills in preparation for future local and international racing events.”
Since its inception back in 2010, the Cavalry Supercross has always attracted the cream of Sri Lanka’s drivers and riders as well as several international participants. During last year’s event, Ushan Perera won the “Best Driver” trophy while Ishan Dasanayake was named the “Best Rider” as over 150 local and foreign competitors participated in 12 driving and 12 racing events.As in previous years, the Best Driver and the Best Rider of this year’s event will be awarded the “Sri Lanka Armoured Corps Colonel Commandant’s Challenge Trophy” and “Sonna Vander Hoeven Memorial Challenge Trophy” respectively.
Looking back at the history of the event, Brigadier Ranasinghe stated, “Back in 2010, we put together a proposal to have the Cavalry Supercross at Pangolla, the “Ironside Camp”, home to the 5th Reconnaissance Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. We felt that this event would provide a challenging race track to our local drivers and riders. The track was to be built in Kurunegala with the hill features “Ridiyagalla” and “Rambadagalla” in the backdrop. I am happy to acknowledge that the then Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, and the then Colonel Commandant Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Major General Niranjan Ranasinghe, gave us the necessary guidance, encouragement and blessings to make this project a success. Two leading veterans in motor sports – Mr. Hans Ralf Karpinsky and Mr. Nishan Wasalathanthri – took on the challenge to design, plan and execute the track layout of the Motordrome. Furthermore, then President of SLARDAR Mr. Rodney Mason, Major (Retd) Dilhan Jayawardene, Mr. Pubudu Wickrama, Mr. Palitha Ratnayake and Champion Rider Gayan Sandaruwan also gave their expert technical assistance to the project and thus Cavalry Motordrome came into being.”
In keeping with the objectives of this unique fund-raising project, the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps has so far been able to construct 18 houses for its deceased, disabled and serving members. During the past five years, significant achievements and beneficiaries of the Cavalry Supercross include construction of three Holiday Bungalows, funding welfare projects of Training Centre and all Regiments for the benefit of troops, purchasing of medical and other essential items for needy members, contributions to Army’s Brave Heart and Viru Daru projects and infrastructure developments within the Corps. Several other priority objectives have already been outlined to be undertaken in the future.
At the inaugural Cavalry Supercross held in 2010, Pasindu Peiris and Gayan Sandaruwan became the “Best Driver” and “Best Rider” respectively. Since then, Gayan Sandaruwan has twice won the “Best Rider” award (2012 and 2013) while Japanese rider Tomoya Suzuki won the award in 2012. In the “Best Driver” category, Ashan Silva has twice won the award (2012 and 2013) with Dinesh Deheragoda bagging the award in 2011. At the 2014 edition, Shehan C Adikari won “Best Rider” and Ashan Silva was nominated as the “Best Drivers”.