The 2016 edition of the Cavalry Supercross, one of the most anticipated events in Sri Lanka’s motor racing calendar, is set to flag off on 12th June 2016 at the Cavalry Supercross race track in Pangolla, Kurunegala in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR). Organized by theSri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC), the event will be the first of four races in the “CEAT Sri Lanka Super Series 2016” and will feature the island’s finest drivers and riders in action.
The Cavalry Supercross was conceptualised by Brigadier Indunil Ranasinghe and was inaugurated in 2010 and is 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, it is expected 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 forward, 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 Media Briefing presided over by Major General Milinda Peiris, Chief of Staff of the Army and Colonel Commandant of Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Brigadier Indunil Ranasinghe–Chairman of the Organising Committee stated, “We are thrilled to have the Cavalry Supercross back here again. The specially-designed track, which gives consideration to the surrounding environment, will push the drivers and riders to their limits and is guaranteed to thrill the thousands that are expected to witness the races. It will also serve to showcase the talents of our drivers and riders, providing them with the ideal platform to hone their skills in preparation for future local and international races.”
Since inception, the Cavalry Supercross has always attracted the cream of the Lankan drivers and riders. At the inaugural event 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 last Cavalry Supercross held in 2014, Shehan C Adikari won “Best Rider” and Ashan Silva was nominated as the “Best Driver”. This year too, the Best Driver and the Best Rider will be awarded “Sri Lanka Armoured Corps Colonel Commandant’s Challenge Trophy” and “Sonna Vander Hoeven Memorial Challenge Trophy” respectively.
Touching upon the history of the event, Brigadier Ranasing headed, “Back in 2010, we made a proposal to have the Cavalry Supercross at Pangolla, the “Ironside Camp”, home to the 5th Reconnaissance Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as we felt that it will 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 Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya and then Colonel Commandant Sri Lanka Armoured Corps Major General Niranjan Ranasinghe gave the necessary guidance, encouragement and blessing to the project. Two top 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 project, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps has to date been able to construct 18 houses for its deceased, disabled and serving members. 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 “ViruDaru” projects and infrastructure developments within the Corps could be named as significant benefits/ charities of Cavalry Supercross during the last five years.
After the Cavalry Supercross, the “CEAT Sri Lanka Super Series 2016” will conduct the Pannala Circuit Meet 01 (31st July), Commando Challenge (9th October) and Pannala Circuit Meet 02 (13th November) before declaring overall winners across various categories.