Monday, 12 August 2013 01:14
Jaffna Speed Festival 2013, the first ever motor race in the city of Jaffna, will be held on 14 and 15 September 2013. Jaffna Speed Festival 2013 is being organised by the Carlton Motor Sports Club (CMS) in conjunction with Motor Racing Association (MRA) and the Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC) under an organising permit issued by Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS) and the Federation for Motorcycle Sports in Sri Lanka (FMSSL).
The motor race is an event open to nationals and residents of Sri Lanka and is also included in the SLAS calendar of events. The motor race, run on tarmac, will start from Jaffna city and will be held over several stages covering a total distance of around 200 kilometres. This will include special stages and transport stages.
Entries closed on 24 July 2013 for motor cars and motorbikes. The organisers will provide free accommodation for the driver, navigator and two members of the support staff and in addition will provide transportation for vehicles from Colombo to Jaffna and back.
President of Carlton Motor Sports Club Dinesh Jayawardana said: “Jaffna Speed Festival 2013 is going to be a significant occasion not only for the people of Jaffna but for all Sri Lankans. The event will not only demonstrate the regional developments, where normalcy has returned after decades of conflict, but also boost the economy and tourism of the region while encouraging newcomers to enter the sport.”
He added: “Nowadays, people of the region are looking to the future with great optimism and hope. We believe that the success of this event will encourage more sporting events to be held in the Jaffna region. This will be the beginning of many thrilling events to unfold in the northern peninsula of Sri Lanka.”
The inauguration of the Jaffna Speed Festival will simultaneously launch a ‘tracks fest’ for the first time in Jaffna, comprising of a marathon cycling race to Kilinochchi exclusively for the community in Jaffna. A mega musical show backed by the Agnee music group and performance by Chennai based A. E. Manoharan, a popular Tamil pop singer, will add variety to the festival along with a fireworks display.
Elaborating on the long-term plans for motor racing in Sri Lanka, Secretary of the Carlton Motor Sports Club, Wing Commander Jaliya Jayasekara (Retd.), stated: “If we can conduct a proper motor race championship, within a couple of years, we can invite the FIA to hold an introductory round of the Asia Pacific Motor Race Championship (APRC) in Sri Lanka. The ultimate goal is to advance the sport to such a level where we can attempt to bring a round of the World Race Championship (WRC) conducted by the FIA to be held in Sri Lanka. This will go a long way in establishing Sri Lanka as a top destination for sports loving tourists.”
Motor racing in Sri Lanka spans over three decades with some events covering a distance of over 1,000 kilometres. Initially run as TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) rallies, these events have now been upgraded to World Standard Speed Races. The National Race Championship, conducted for over five years by the MRA, runs at Sevanagala, Pelwatta and Kantale.