Speed Drome is an excellent facility for racing meets in general and has witnessed some great events to date. The racing fraternity have identified this location as one of the best tracks for Go-Kart Racing and held several events up to now. Go-Karting has been the main sport in the complex for both experienced drivers and novices alike.
Speed Drome is backed by the McLarens Group which has been a name with great passion towards improvement of motor sports in Sri Lanka.
The Speed Drome will be further developed to include a Swimming Pool and a state-of-the-art gym, to cater to the discerning corporate executives and high profile lifestyles.
The facility could also be used for parties, groups or corporate events, structured to ensure maximum participation and enjoyment, offering a variety of options to suit the requirement and budget.
Man and Machine of Go-Karts
It is common knowledge that practically every international racing driver worth his or her salt started their career in Go-Karts. These low-cost, 4-wheeled vehicles are in effect scaled-down versions of larger race cars and are generally accepted as being the stepping stone to almost any form of circuit racing. Fans of contemporary motor sport will be familiar with World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s story – even after McLaren signed him to their driver development program they funded his progress through the various ranks of European karting. 7-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher was such an aficionado that after winning his 4th F1 drivers title in 2001, he returned to his karting roots in the off-season to take part in that year’s Karting World Championship, finishing in a very competitive 3rd place behind winner and future F1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.
In addition to the relatively inexpensive nature of Go-Kart racing, this form of motor sport is also important in developing a racing driver’s skills. For younger drivers especially, karting offers valuable lessons that are essential for a career in top-flight motor sport – comfort at high speed, car control, carrying high speed through corners, fighting for track position with other drivers and not least of all, gives them valuable understanding of technical and engineering matters.
Despite the low-cost nature of this discipline and the relative ease with which karting facilities can be obtained or setup, Go-Karting in Sri Lanka is practically non-existent. In the past, competitive karting championships were held at venues ranging from the Taj Samudra Car Park, the BMICH Car Park, the Alcatraz Car Park in Battaramulla and other such locations. These events were generally well received, saw healthy participation and launched many domestic racing careers. Yet, for various reasons, competitive karting died out in Sri Lanka. For a while one or two indoor venues in Colombo provided viable options for recreational and competitive Go-karting but once those establishments closed down, karting enthusiasts were left with no options.
Within this backdrop there is an urgent need for the motor sports community in Sri Lanka to once again start promoting an entry-level karting championship or series. As in previous years, large car parks are more than sufficient to hold competitive events and there is no doubt that there will be enough participants if facilities and the appropriate equipment are made available. Go-Karting is a sure-fire way of promoting motor sports at the grassroots level and healthy participation at entry-level motor sports events can only lead to a strong domestic racing scene as participants graduate to higher levels of motor racing.