Speed Drome pioneers in go-karting in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Speed Drome Ltd., situated just outside the heart of Colombo in Battaramulla, the first sports complex, consists of a professionally fitted go-kart facility in Sri Lanka. Speed Drome launched in late 2009 was the first and only sports complex to provide a go kart facility in Sri Lanka. The sports complex also consists of a swimming pool, café and a kids’ play area to provide activities to the entire family. People who love and have passion for speed should witness Speed Drome at least once as they provide the up to 200cc powered Go Karts, timing system and well trained staff. Speed Drome also consist of a 16 m long swimming pool with a kids’ area and a café. The man in charge, Speed Drome Commercial and Operations Manager Kalum Piyasena says why they decided to build a Go Kart track, “The management of McLarens Group initially touched this project when they wanted to build a professional go kart track in the Battaramulla area mainly due to the passion they had for racing, as the owners of the group themselves are racing drivers. And also at that time there was a desire to open a go kart track for many youngsters and motor racing lovers who were looking for a place to test their skills on a track.” “The management at that time received the blessings of the Government for this project and granted the Board of Investment (BOI) approvals to construct this sports complex and it became a BOI project.” Targets to mainly promote young racing talent “Speed Drome targets to mainly promote the young racing talent in Sri Lanka as everyone knows that go karting is the stepping stone of most of the world’s best drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettle, Michael Schumacher, late Ayton Senna and many more drivers who have come through in motor racing through go karting during their young age. Speed Drome provides the ideal opportunity to many youngsters locally.” As for Kalum, it’s remarkable and very happy to say that responses have been very positive from day one and popularity wise it’s a very highly popular activity and it has been growing since the day Speed Drome was launched in Battaramulla. “When we actually had a look at this in detail we figured driving a go kart is rather simple and easier than driving any other vehicle and basically a good way to start off your driving career. Learning to drive a Kart is very simple and basically anyone can catch it easily as we have kids above 10 years driving the karts, but learning to race a Kart you need lot of hard work, focus, commitment and practice to learn the racing techniques and skills etc.,” Kalum went on to say. Go karting can be done as a professional sport in Sri Lanka and many drivers are coming up with karting as a profession however most of the drivers use karting to brush up their skills and talents and then move on with other varies of driving and we have some people use karting for fun as well because it’s a unique and thrilling new experience to most of the people. Speed Drome is simply not just a Go Kart track, Kalum explained to us what Speed Drome consist of; “We have a 500 m tarmac track for Go Karting with a set of staff looking after the day to day operations of the Karting centre and also we have a 16 m long pool which we use to conduct swimming classes mainly for kids which is done by a well known swimming coaching academy Aqua Kids.” “Also we have a small café as well as a kiddie’s play area to keep the small ones happy and entertained while they visit Speed Drome. We also have a set of members who are regular users of all our facilities. So all in all, Speed Drome is a family venue to visit.” Speed Drome organises two major championships which are called ‘Speed Drome All Island Pro Karting Championships’ which was started in year 2010 with the vision to promote 10 young drivers from Formula driving in Sri Lanka every year. Speed Drome has been successful in doing so introducing young drivers such as Waruna Ranathunga, Kyle Crosland, Chandima Goonarathna and overall managed to identify and promote over 50 youngsters to Formula open wheel single seater National level tarmac racing in Sri Lanka. Speed Drome has introduced a very unique championship in year 2012 named ‘Endurance Karting Championship’ which is a team based racing format and driver’s race for four hours non stop, which has gained much popularity among the drivers recently. Safety measures Karting being an exciting sport there is an element of risk in this sport, we went on to ask Kalum about the safety measures they have taken to provide all customers “As we are open to the public we have taken all necessary safety measures during and its mandatory that every participant wears a full face helmet and covered shoes which we provide and also we have professional trained staff who will guide you and give you all the necessary safety rules and regulations before you get in to a Kart. In the middle of the track we have our own track assistants who will attend to you at any given time during the drive to assist you.” “Also at the swimming pool we have taken care of all the necessary measures to ensure that all swimmers are looked after with inflatable tyres and one dedicated staff member for diving purposes in case of an emergency.” Kalum went on to say about their objectives of Speed Drome in future, “We have a dream of identifying an individual who will one day represent Sri Lanka in international level Go Kart meets and win a major level championship to Sri Lanka. We are not far away from that day as couples of youngsters are almost on their way there.” Speed Drome, Battaramulla a place you must visit if you are wondering of activities/sports to be done in Colombo.