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Mahagastotte Festival of Speed 2017

Mahagastotte Festival of Speed 2017

The Mahagastotte Festival of Speed 2017 was run over two consecutive days – Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th April. This format change was necessitated by the fact that this year, there were a record number of entries for all events – Bikes, Cars and Classics.


It was a crisp and sunny morning in Nuwara Eliya on Saturday the 8th – despite the weather forecast for Nuwara Eliya being ‘rain’.

This was the 83rd Mahagstotta Hill Climb event to be held, making it the longest consistently running motor sports event in the country.


With some 120+ riders signed up featuring new faces as well as old, the scene was set on Saturday morning for a great weekend of racing.

For those that haven't been to the hill climb at Mahagstotte, the cars and bikes start from the bottom of Mahagastotte Road (a public road which is closed for the Hill Climb event), a slight turn left and on to a tighter right hander known as Cemetery Corner, a slight left around Blackpool Hotel and on to the first right hand hairpin bend, and soon after a short stretch, the second hairpin bend to the left. Then it’s a blind right hander, and on to the fast but challenging (because of the camber of the road) left hander, and then straight on to the finish line.


Each racer was set to get 2 timed runs up the course each day.

The more experienced of the bikers set their hearts on bettering their time from last year, while the new comers were cautious in finding the ideal racing line. Ananda Sampath Weerasinghe riding a Honda CRF 450 had not only the best time for the day, but at a time of 33.936 seconds set a new course record for motorbikes!

While the motorcycle action was in progress, another part of the Festival of Speed – the Classic Cars - were lining up in front of Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya. The criteria set by Ceylon Motor Sports Club (CMSC) for entry to the Classic Car parade was that the cars needed to be 30 years or older. Some 28 Classics ranging from Healey Sprites, MGB GT, Alfa Romeo GT Junior, Minis, Ford Escorts, Ford Capri, Datsun 120Y and more – plus of course Motor’s own Alfasud ti were lined up ready to go.


Once lined up, the Classic Cars proceeded in procession along the Lake Drive and on to the Mahagastotte track. At the track, the cars were given two runs up the hill each, which brought back memories of what Mahagastotte would have looked like over 30 years ago.


Saturday’s proceedings ended with awards being given to the bikers, and Certificates of Participation being given to the Classic Car drivers.

Sunday also turned out to be an excellent day where the weather was concerned. Some 65 cars were under starter’s orders. All eyes were on Darin Weerasinghe – the current course record holder to see if he could better his record. However, on his first run Darin overstepped his mark at the first hairpin bend and went through the tyre barrier. His second run was very good, but this time not as good as Dinesh Jayawardena, who with a time of 33.657 seconds set the fastest time for the day. Dinesh was absolutely flying, and was a treat to watch.


Father and son duo Dhammika and Kushan Pieris showed their colours in the Ford Laser/Mazda 323 event with junior having one over senior. Meanwhile Rohan De Silva, former course record holder and daughter Shehara competed in different classes of the event while Shehara’s husband Dinesh took the honours of being the fastest up the hill. It was also good to see three veterans – Sumanapala Mannapperuma, Kumar Samarasinghe and Jeffrey Mason competing in this most prestigious event.


Susantha Gunawardena took the better of the Periris duo in the Ford Laser/Mazda 323 up to 1500cc event. Chandima Gunaratne once again proved that he is the master of the Formula Mclaren 1300 cc open wheeler class while in the 1600 open wheeler class Dilan Seneviratne topped the list in both the standard and modified classes. In the SL-A Modified up to 1050cc Class, Mahen Madugalle in the ferocious sounding Mini took the top spot. In our books Mahen had one of the cleanest drives with some slick gear changes to boot. Mini veteran K Parameshwaran showed how it should be done in the SL-A Min 7 Class, while in the SL-E Mini up to 1275cc event Duminda Jayasinghe took the top spot. Madushan Mannaperuma won the SL-S up to 1500cc event.


The Mahagastotte Festival of Speed 2017 was a great event. Thanks to all the riders, drivers, marshals and staff who made the weekend so good. CEAT, Mobil, McFoil, TVS, Blackpool Hotel and Sri Lankan Airlines sponsored the event with Motor magazine sponsoring the Classic Car parade.




Ford Laser/Mazda 323 upto 1300cc  

1 Kushan Peiris                     42.714

2 Dhammika Peiris                                42.852

3 Sheenal Gunawardena      43.382

Ford Laser/Mazda 323 upto 1500cc  

1 Susantha Gunawardena    43.318

2 Kushan                Peiris                      43.819

3 Dhammika Peiris                                44.694

Formula McLarens 1300cc

1 Chandima Gunaratne        38.546

2 Bryan Perera                       38.740

3 Ranjaya Dissanayake        39.202

Formula Ford 1600cc

1 Dilan Seneviratne               36.981

2 Shafraz                Junaid                    39.224

3 Nadeera Jinasena              39.318

Formula modified upto 1665cc         

1 Dilan Seneviratne               34.760

2 Rohan De Silva                  44.040

3 Disnesh               Jayawardena         N/A

SL-A Modified upto 1050cc

1 Mahen Madugalle               41.646

2 Ajith Keerthi                        41.946

3 Yasith Gamage                   42.515

SL-A Mini 7

1 K. Parameswaran                45.339

2 W.N.S Tissera                     46.094

3 Ajith Keerthi                        47.794

SL-H upto 1618cc

1 Kushan Peiris                     38.028

2 Chandima Gunaratne        38.918

3 Prasanna Rajakulendran   39.169

SL-GT upto 3500cc             

1 Dinesh Jayawardena         33.657

2 Darin Weerasinghe            34.236

3 Shafraz                Junaid                    38.570

SL-S upto 1500cc

1 Madushan Mannapperuma               37.665

2 Rumesh Rajakulendran     39.778

3 S Mannapperuma               40.188

SL–E Nissan March upto 1000CC

1 Dammika Peiris                   46.420

2 Binara Panduwawala          47.434

3 Mihan Peiris                        48.994

13 SL-E Mini upto 1275cc   

1 Duminda Jayasinghe         44.224

2 Neel Weerasinghe             44.949

3 Sadaru Weerasinghe         45.711

FASTEST TIME OF               DAY - Dinesh Jayawardena 33.657 SL-GT upto 3500cc


RESULTS - Motorcycles


Group ‘O’ Std\Mod up to 125cc

1 Sanjeewa Udaya Kumara - Honda JX               45.008

2 Supun Danushka – Honda JX           46.175

3 Gihan Sanjeewa – Honda JX            48.444

Racing 125cc

1 Shazran Ismathnoon - Honda RS    38.751

2 Sudara Weerasinghe – Honda RS   42.129

3 Dilan Hettiarachchi – HONDA RS     42.249

Racing 85cc

1 Shane De Silva – Yamaha YZ            40.733

2 Gihan Sanjeewa – Yamaha YZ          41.24


Std\Mod Motorcycles over 900cc Upto 1000cc

1 Maduranga Caldera – Yamaha R1    39.467

2 Dimuthu De Silva – Yamaha R1         44.323

3 Saman Kotuwage – Yamaha R1        52.498

Std Motorcycles Over 125cc upto 160cc

1 Vinula Pathirage – Honda CBR         41.696

2 W M Nimesh – Honda CBR                               41.982

3 Nikila Pathirage – Honda CBR          42.527

Std Motorcycles Over 125cc Upto 160cc (TVS)

   Shane Silva – TVS Apachi                                 43.361

   Ganeshan Vijekumar - TVS Apachi  45.305

   Ghana Pragash – TVS Apachi          47.141

One Make Buell Open (Club Event)

1 Hashan Illeperuma - Buell                 42.739

2 Mario Anthoniz - Buell                       44.158

3 WPS Ranaweera - Buell                     44.756

Std\Mod Motorcycles 600cc

1 Shrian Samuel – Honda CBR            35.813

2 Maduranga Caldera - Yamaha R6     39.803

3 Chaminda De Silva – Honda CBR    40.375

Street Trail One Make Kawasaki Tracker 250cc

1 R M MIMSHAD – Kwasakii Tracker   39.54

2 P Raguraj – Kawasaki Tracker          39.831

3 M Rizvi - Kawasakii Tracker                              40.233

Street Trail Over 175cc Upto 250cc Club Event

1 Dasma Shane – Honda CRM            38.831

2 M Rizvi – Honda CRM                        40.981

3 S Gnanapragash – Honda CRM       41.14

SM Over 100cc Upto 250cc

1 Asanka Udayakumara – Suzuki RMZ                37.515

2 Chaminda De Silva - Honda             CRF        37.806

3 Lakshan Aruldass – Yamaha YZF     38.102

SM Open 2T and 4T

1 Ananda Weerasinghe – Honda CRF               33.936

2 S P Chaminda – Yamaha YZF           37.142

3 Dilan Chaminda – Honda CRF         39.918

Sports Touring Bikes Over 700cc Club Event 

1 Mangala Pathirage – Husqvana Nuda              38.069

2 Akalanka Perera – Aprilia Dorsuduro               41.653

3 Hashan Illeperuma – Ducati Monster               43.647

Std\Mod Motorcycles Over 100cc Upto 125cc (2t)

1 Ganesh Vijayakumar - Yamaha TZR                37.622

2 Udana Perera – Yamaha TZR            39.331

3 W M Gihan Sanjeewa – Yamaha TZR              40.601

Std\Mod Motorcycles Over 175cc Upto 250cc (4t)

1 Heshan Pasindu – Honda CBR        38.172

2 Mangala Pathirage – Honda CBR     39.513

3 Nikila Pathirage – Honda CBR          41.252

FASTEST TIME OF               DAY - BIKES  - Ananda Sampath Weerasinghe Honda CRF 450. New Course Record for Motorcycles 33.936