The roar of fine-tuned engines will reverberate in the scenic hill station of Diyatalawa once again on 15th and 16th April, when the 19th edition of the Fox Hill Supercross takes place at the home of the Sri Lanka Military Academy, signaling that the 2011 battle for motor racing glory has begun in earnest.
Some 175 drivers and riders have already registered for this iconic event organised by the Academy and the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR), and more than 200 drivers and riders including competitors from overseas are expected to show up on race day, organisers said. Two leading racing drivers from India have been invited and three top Indian riders are among the confirmed participants.
This year’s Fox Hill Supercross comprises of 13 motor car and 17 motor cycle events including the championship races which will be taken into account in awarding the CEAT-SLARDAR Championship trophies to the country’s top drivers and riders at the end of the 2011 racing season.
The Championship races are Group SL- GT – up to 3500 cc, Group SL- H - up to 1600 cc in the motor car category and Group MX - Racing Motocross bikes up to 125 cc 2-Stroke; up to 250 cc 4-Stroke and Group MX - Racing Motocross bikes up to 85 cc (Under 16 years as at 31 December 2011) in the motor cycle category.
Truck and Jeep Diesel up to 5500 cc and Super Motard up to 250 cc (2-stroke and 4-stroke) and cars up to 1500 cc in the special motor car category are among the other popular races that are expected to add to the thrills and enjoyment of the competition.
Addressing media at a news conference, Brigadier J .R. Kulatunga, Commandant of the Sri Lanka Military Academy and Chairman of Fox Hill Supercross 2011 said that all arrangements have been made for a spectacular two days of unforgettable racing fare.
“While offering unparalleled excitement to the motor sports enthusiasts who flock to Diyatalawa each year in large numbers to witness one of the major sporting events in the country, the event serves a noble purpose -- raising funds for the enhancement of infrastructure and facilities at the Military Academy for the training of young officers, the future guardians of our country,” he said.
As in previous years, the proceeds from the 2011 Fox Hill Supercross will be allocated for the needs of the Academy, he said. Among the initiatives planned are the addition of a classroom complex and Library Complex for trainees.
Many important past developments at the Diyatalawa Military Academy including language and computer laboratories, a swimming pool and a gymnasium have received significant funding through Fox Hill Supercross events conducted annually since 1993, Brigadier Kulatunga said.
Military Spokesman, Major General U. Medawala, pointed out that the development of motor racing in Sri Lanka owed a lot to the initiatives of units of the Sri Lanka Army. Besides the Fox Hill Supercross, many other leading motor racing events in the country are organised by and conducted in military bases. These include the famous Gajaba Supercross, Gunners Supercross and Cavalry Supercross events.
“Clearly, the Army has played a pivotal role in the evolution of motor racing in the country and provided opportunities for many local drivers and riders to hone their skills,” he said.
SLARDAR President Yoga Perera noted that the challenging 2km Fox Hill race track is among the fastest and most testing in the country and is perfect for a major racing event as it also offers a great view for spectators. “We expect a few records to be broken this year, and advice spectators to make their travel and accommodation arrangements early, as this event guarantees some of the best of motor racing of the year,” he said.
The Fox Hill race track has the capacity to accommodate more than 100,000 spectators. A new addition, a VVIP enclosure set up by CEAT Sri Lanka, the main sponsor of the 2011 CEAT SLARDAR Championship and a special sponsor of Fox Hill 2011, can accommodate up to 50 people.
Tickets for the other stands and spectator areas are priced at Rs 150 upwards and can be purchased from Keells Super outlets island-wide or at the gate on race day.
The Fox Hill Supercross 2011 is also supported by Browns and Elephant House as special sponsors of the event, and by co-sponsors BOC, Sri Lanka Telecom, Douglas and Sons Ltd, Singer Sri Lanka and AKZO-nobel Paints.