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Radella Speed Hill Climb a doubtful starter on bad roads

RADELLA HILL CLIMB: The annual Radella Speed Hill Climb organised by the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR) has been scheduled to be worked off at the Radella Short Cut in Carlabeck Estate in Nanu Oya on Saturday April 7 but the organisers are still undecided in holding this event due to the condition of this road which needs repairs.

The President of the SLARDAR Mahesh Gammanpila said that this road which belongs to the Rad Development Authority needs repairs to make it safe for the competitors who will be combining power with speed and their safety is foremost in their minds.

He said last week some of the officials visited this venue and were not satisfied with the conditions for motor racing. On Friday Palitha Ratnayake a senior member of the SLARDAR and one time secretary of the controlling body Sri Lanka Association for Motor Sports (SLAS) visited Nanu Oya to check on the conditions of the track whether it is in a fit condition and they are awaiting a report from him before a final decision is taken.

Last year too the SLARDAR faced a similar situation but the roads were repaired by the authorities concerned and the speed Hill Climb worked off as scheduled without any problems. They are hopeful that the track conditions improved on time so that they could go ahead with this annual hill climb.

The SLARDAR was formed in the mid eighties by leading racing drivers and riders and their first event was the Radella Hill Climb and the identification of the venue was a major achievement by SLARDAR as it is one of the best speed hill climb tracks in the country. A competitor to come to terms with it has to combine speed , power and skills with which he has no chance and it is a connoisseurs delight.

Another aspect of this track is that it is unique as a spectator could view ninety percent of the race from any point and could do so with maximum safety from the tea fields.

Therefore this track is unique by itself and would have been still hidden if not for the efforts of the founders of the SLARDAR whose vision in promoting motor sports has yielded excellent results. As they are now foremost in motor racing having conducted motor racing events at fore Hill, Gajaba, Sigiriya, Minneriya, Katukurunda just to name a few but they had their start at the Radella Speed Hill Climb which has been now included in the program for the Nuwara Eliya festive season.

It is not only the SLARDAR but also racing drivers and riders and the spectators are hopeful that the repairs to the track will be carried out in time, so that the races could be held on time.

Last year's races saw some glittering performances by Ashan de Silva who clocked the fastest timing of the day driving a Mitsubishi Evolution and timing 33.19 seconds in the Super Cars event SLGT upto 3500 cc. Not far behind was Romani de Silva in a Subaru Impressa timing 33.95 seconds. And in third place was Arvinda Premadasa in a Mitsubishi Evolution VII timing 34.13 seconds. Hold your breach it was just a second which separated the first three.

The others to excel were Shashika Lakmal Wijeratne, Leelananda Krishnaratne, Dilan Senaviratne, Dinesh Senanayake, Pasindu Peiris and many others, in the events for motor cars.

The course record is held by maestro Rohan de Silva who timed under 33 seconds in his Mobil modified formula 3600 cc many years ago and since then this event has been scrapped and in fact this class of vehicles no longer compete in races anywhere in Sri Lanka on a decision made by the controlling body. Motor racing spectators will have to keep their fingers crossed about the Radella Speed Hill - the organisers are keen but the track conditions will have to be improved by the authorities concerned.

 

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