The twisty roads surrounding the Kukuleganga Holiday Resort near Matugama will see the resumption of the 2009 MRA Rally Championship with the all-tarmac MRA Kukuleganga Rally. A strong field led by former winner Dinesh Jayewardene and multiple National Rally Champion Dinesh Deheragoda will vie for honours on the 20th and 21st of June.
The MRA, the only proponent of FIA-standard closed-course rallying in Sri Lanka, will conduct a minimum of 10 special stages, including 3 night stages. This year’s Kukuleganga Rally, the only tarmac rally currently held in Sri Lanka, will see the participation of a record number of SL ‘GT’ cars. In addition to Jayewardene (Mitusbishi Lancer Evolution VIII RS) and Deheragoda (Evolution X RS), GT-class veterans such as Reyaz Farook (Evolution VII RS), Shantha Suraweera (Subaru Impreza WRX), Shafraz Junaid (Impreza WRX), Rizvi Farouk (Impreza WRX), Janaka Dias (Impreza WRX STi), Pasindu Peiris (Evolution IX GT) and Ameen Deane (Toyota Starlet GT) will also be out to stamp their authority on the field.
In the SL ‘A’ 1600 class Javidh Wahab (Honda Civic Type-R) will once again look to repeat his giant-killing efforts from the last 2 rallies where he finished 2nd overall behind Aravinda Premadasa (Sevanagala 2008) and Deheragoda (Pelwatte 2009) and first in class ahead of more powerful cars. This time he will face strong competition from the fast-improving duo from Matara of Missaka Gamage (Honda Civic SiR) and Sanjaya Sedara Senarath (Honda Civic Type-R). Others entered at Kukuleganga include former class-winner Sajaad Zuhair (Civic SiR), Manish Gunatilleke (Subaru Impreza) and newcomers Taffy Alahakoon (Honda Civic) and Emdad Hussain (Honda CRX). In the SL ‘A’ 1050 cc category Farzan Najmudeen (Nissan March) will take the fight to the Minis of the veterans K. Balasingham and K. Parameswaram. Najmudeen makes his rally driving debut at Kukuleganga after co-driving Gunatilleke at the last 2 rallies conducted by the MRA.
Deheragoda and co-driver Mushtaq Ahamed will be focused on defending their lead in the MRA Rally Championship, having won every single title since the inception of FIA-standard rallying in Sri Lanka, in 2002. This year however they will face unprecedented competition from their fellow GT-class runners, with a healthy mix of experience and youthful aggression to be found in the entry list.
Entry forms are available at the MRA Secretariat at No. 5 Havelock Place, Colombo 5. With Kukuleganga being only a 90-minute drive from Colombo and with multiple viewing locations available along the designated stages, plenty of spectators are expected to attend. Spectators who wish to stay the entire weekend are encouraged to contact the Kukuleganga Holiday Resort directly on 0773284383 or at www.kkgholidayresort.com
For further information on the rally and directions to the resort, contact Dilshan Dodanwela on 0777602618.