The last weekend saw the Red Bull Tuk Tuk Rally champ being crowned amidst an environment filled with high adrenalin, a myriad of colourful tuk tuks and characters.
Rasika Jeewantha, a novice racer, won the first ever Red Bull Tuk Tuk Rally. In a rally that saw a treacherous track that spanned 67.8 kilometres and equally volatile terrain in the special stages, he emerged the clear winner, scoring 804 points. Jeewantha, ably supported by his navigator S.P.A. Sarath Kumara, was placed number one in the special stages and number seven in the rally.
The first ever Red Bull Tuk Tuk Rally saw 47 tuk tuks qualify for participation on day one. 31 completed the first stage which was held on the stretch of road from Dambulla to Habarana.
37 started stage two which was a route that trailed from Habarana back to the starting point at Dambulla. 35 tuk tuks finished the day which was filled with numerous trials and tribulations for the participants.
On day one, the three wheelers endured gravel, tarmac, mud, rocks, broken culwerts, causeways and river bunds. Day two saw the three wheelers take on multiple terrains including obstacles such as mud pools, uneven articulation, cones, rock stages etc. The overall winner was adjudged on the performances on both days.
Yet another first, Red Bull created the first ever tuk tuk event which imitated real life rally car racing. The rally tested the endurance, skill and strength of each team comprising of two – the driver and navigator.
The three wheelers, fondly referred to as tuk tuks, were required to manoeuvre the narrow byroads of the three host cities. There were several checkpoints to aid and assist the teams. Since it was the inaugural event, the route map was a closely guarded secret to ensure that the event was run in a fair manner.