The Motor Racing Association (MRA), in conjunction with the Sri Lanka Army Motorsports Club (SLAMSC) and Jaffna Motorsports Club (JMSC), has announced the first annual running of the Northern Speed Rally, in the Jaffna peninsula. With reconnaissance on Friday the 22nd of March and the competitive stages to be held on the 23rd and 24th, this historic meet will be the first national-level motorsport event to be held in the north of the island.
The Rally HQ and Service Park, located at the Jaffna Municipal Grounds, will be open to the public who will get a first-hand view of some of Sri Lanka’s fastest drivers and riders as well as their cars and bikes. The competitive special stages, totaling approximately 135 KM will be based in and around Chundikulam. Fans can expect some spectacular action on the smooth gravel stages, including challenging night stages – several designated spectator zones will allow them safe access to the action. With the leading SLGT class expected to take top billing, multiple-time national champion Ashan Silva will want to continue his unbeaten 2018 Supercross season while former rally winners Ishraq Wahab and Shafraz Junaid will also be out to make their mark.
The fan-favourite Trucks & Jeeps category will also feature several contenders for the overall win while the motorcycles will also feature competitive action including local entries from Jaffna and the armed forces and. In addition to the rally veterans, several newcomers are expected to make their rally debuts in what is expected to be a strong field of entries. The organizers will hold a Time-Speed-Distance Rally alongside the main event to allow newcomers to experience the sport of rallying.
Izvan Ahamat, President of the MRA and Clerk of the Course for the rally, said ‘We are proud to be able to bring rallying back to the Sri Lankan motorsport community, especially since this will be the first major motorsports event to be held in Jaffna. Rallying is what the MRA is best at and we are happy to be returning to our roots”. Secretary of the SLAMSC, Colonel Indu Samarakoon said “We are thankful to the Security Forces Commander, Jaffna, Major-General Dharshana Hettiarachchi for his vision in bringing this event to the public in this part of the country. I am sure the drivers and riders will enjoy the stages as well, and we hope that this event goes on to become a firm fixture in the local racing calendar, with international participants in the future as well.”
Having pioneered special stage rallying in Sri Lanka with the Pelwatte Rally in 2002, this event is the first high speed rally to be held in Sri Lanka since 2016, and the organizing committee is hopeful that this leads to the re-formation of a national rally championship.
For more information on the event, sponsorship opportunities or related information, please contact the Joint-Secretary of the meet, Kalim Iqbal, on 0773219958.