Title holders driver Ashan Silva and rider Dushan Mudalige are fully geared and in perfect shape to defend their crowns at the 24th SMSC Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2020, which will flag off at the hilly slopes of Browns Hill in Matara on Sunday, February 24.

Silva was crowned the Best Driver for his feat in the SL GT up to 3500cc Super Cars event after clocking the best timing of 32.61 seconds to complete the 600metre hill climb, while Mudalige emerged the best among riders with a timing of 34.43 seconds in the SM up to 250cc Super Motard event.

Mudalige will be eyeing to claim his hat-trick crown at the Eliyakanda Hill Climb, as he also became the champion at the Tarmat Championship in Super Motard events.

“Last year I competed in a Honda CRF 2008 model bike and this year I’m sure I can easily defend my title and hope for a hat-trick with my new machine, a Honda CRF 2017 model. With the new bike, I can have more confidence than previous years to come out with a good performance and timing,” commenting on his preparations for the hill climb, Mudalige told Motor Sports Network.

Last season, Mudalige proved his capacity in the SM up to 250cc Super Motard class events at the Lions Top Speed, Radella Hill Climb and Mirigama Road Race, winning all three meets in style.

“Unlike last year, this season is going to be very tough and challenging. There are new riders and the ones who have been running too have committed themselves more. This was highly visible at the Rotherham Circuit Meet. But I’m sure I can take all those challenges in good spirit and claim the win,” Mudalige added.

However defending title holder of the Best Driver, Ashan Silva was unavailable when Motor Sports Network attempted to get the views on his preparation for Sunday’s big race.

The 24th Eliyakanda Hill Climb, organised and conducted by the Sothern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) will flag off at 8.00am in Matara and will be the curtain raiser event of the 2020 motor sports calendar.

This will also be the first among the listed events for the National Motorsports Championship 2020.

The 600metre long tarmac event will include 17 motor car events and 12 motorbike events in which closer to 224 competitors are set to battle it out.

The first three finishers of each event are guaranteed with a trophy and certificate while the best two individual performers among the lot in the two segments will be crowned the Best Driver and the Best Rider.

Dilan Seneviratne hold the record for the fastest timing in the whole of 23 installments of the Eliyakanda Hill Climb, recording 32.40 seconds in a SLF up to 1665cc Modified Formula McLarens in 2018.

The Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb track is a unique track, with four extremely tricky and challenging

corners; the Single Tree Corner, Southern Corner, Residency Corner and Tower Corner, which the

conquering requires high driving skills and perfect man-machine combination.