8 June, 2023


Colombo Night Races – Should Citizens Be Concerned?

By Visakha Tillekeratne

While at least 500 railway crossings remain unprotected, countless villages in Sri Lanka remain without access roads and another large number of the citizenry have very meagre means of transport, the glamorous second edition of the Colombo Night Races will be held here in Colombo on the  14th and 15th December 2012 – Today and tomorrow.

The event will be conducted collaboratively by Carlton Motor Sports Club (CMSC), the Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC) and the Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club (SLMCC). Qualification round of the event will be held on 14th Friday at the Colombo Fort CNR race track and races will be held on the 15th December at 7.00 PM onward at same track. The Track Layout is published below.

The event has been described in all its glory.

A tourist website describes it thus.

“It was revealed that the Race track will be similar to last year’s track with an extension up to Galle face. The GT-3 and the GT-4 category will be an international event which hopes to attracted drivers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan and Hong Kong. This year’s McLarens 1300 event is an addition to the Colombo Night Races with ten cars arriving on to the track, which will be driven by local experts as well as up and coming young drivers. VW Polo Cup Race is planned with seven Indian drivers in action along with three local drivers. It was also noted that the SL-GT Super Cars up to 3500cc race attracted the 24 drivers which is the highest recorded for a race of this nature. The organizers expect few riders from Maldives to arrive in the island to compete along with our local riders which to is expected to add glamour to Motor Cycle events.Four Motor Car races will be happening on race night with experienced International racers. Super Car GT3 / GT4, VW Polo cup and Toyota Etios races will race twice during the day since the given categories were identified as super experience for spectators.

VW Polo and Toyota Etios events are newly added categories for the CNR 2nd edition and expects many more foreign races for both events.

However, AMRC official acclaimed that number of racing categories which were on 1st edition taken down from 2nd edition this year to minimize difficulties fro organizers. 


Racing and modified Open Event [ above 250cc]
Racing and modified bikes up to 125cc 2 stroke / up to 250cc 4 stroke [single cylinder]
Super Motor Open [Racing and Modified above 125cc]
Standard 250cc 4 Stroke

Concerns of Citizens

Usually citizens of a country should be extremely proud and happy, when events are conducted and showcased in their own country. Especially when that event is to do with endurance of individual athletes or teams, when the city is organized especially for the event, when the selection of the country is made based on best bids for competition, when the event is a classified regional or international competition and when the event is conducted transparently and with the proceeds going for the betterment of the country’s sports infrastructure or development of the sport through a national body or for charitable causes citizens should not only be proud, but support this actively.

However in the case of the Colombo Night Races, conducted on the roads used by the citizenry for their day to day affairs and the resultant inconvenience for weeks now and when there seems to be no transparency in its conduct, this situation is worrying and aggravating at the same time.

So being a Citizen of the City of Colombo an attempt was made to pose the following questions to the Colombo Municipal Council. But this attempt did not prove fruitful. It is only professional and ethical to write something based on feedback, fact and evidence. As no answers were received from the Mayor’s Office, the writer decided to put before the reading public, the questions that were asked. The reader therefore can decide if the questions are reasonable and warrant answers in the interest of good governance, central to which is transparency.

These are the 10 questions:

1. Is the CMC part of the Colombo Night Race 2012 organizing committee as public amenities are used?

2. Are the roads on which the race is worked out under the purview of the CMC or RDA?

3. As last time, is it happening this time as well – that contours and pavements are changed or flattened?

4. Who paid to get them back to original condition? Is the same happening this time as well?

5. From where are the sand bags and from which river/location was this sand mined? Who paid for the sand bags?

6. What about the nuisance factor? These are within areas of hotels, apartments and offices.

7. What about the hazards and laws re hazards – normally races are on special tracks? (In the USA and Canada such races on ordinary roads are deemed illegal)

8. Is any revenue coming back to the city of Colombo?

9. What is the total expense and income of this event?

10. As the roads are very narrow for racing, if something happens to a bystander/spectator does insurance cover this person?

Are these valid questions? Should the city’s tax payers know the answers or not?

YOU be the judge!

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Boycott the event? You’re joking right? Seriously not everything must be some government conspiracy! I live in Colombo 3 and didn’t experience anything bad living so close to the race other than a bit of noise pollution but hey, it’s only 1 night and there was a carnival atmosphere at Dutch Hospital that so many people enjoyed! What was most beautiful was watching little boys sitting by the PROTECTED FENCES watching the cars rev past one another so clearly this was an experience for young and old. For people that think that CNR should be cancelled, just quit being a wet diaper and attend the event before passing judgement on it.

  • 0

    Motor racing is inherently alien to Sri Lanka, as was cricket and rugby. However, unlike the latter two, ordinary youth cannot engage in it themselves due to the prohibitive costs involved. They can be mere spectators only.

    Therefore, in conducting feasibility studies on the viability of these events, the sponsors and promoters must take into account the costs and benefits, not just economic, but social, environmental, infrastructure etc.

    If businesses have to close early, or workers have to leave work early, they are opportunity costs that need to be compensated by other means.

    When budgeting for the event, expected sales, profit or loss and a ‘production’ budget should have been forecasted, and after the event, a comparison made, to establish the level of variance.

    These should be made public knowledge, as the event was conducted on public property in a dense population area. Then, any return on investment can be duly computed.

  • 0

    I heard one person died because of this night,the big car crash in car race is true or false, because media given not details.

  • 0

    Those Racing cars came here to stay. Racing event was the bait for public to get down the cars …..duty free.

  • 0


  • 0

    Those Racing cars came here to stay. Racing event was the bait for public to get down the cars …..duty free.

    These Racing cars are not Taxies…..They are highly sophisticated, very delicate, highly complex and ARE MADE TO WIN….WIN….and WIN…

    Therefore after each race these machines go through a full overhaul….including dismentling the whole engine and replacing all the worn out parts….even thay are re-usable. They are including Pistons, piston rings,engine parts, gear box, exhaust systems,electrical, mechanical and computer systems, wheels incluging the tires etc..etc… A pair of Lamborgini tires could cost between US $ 2,500 to $10,000 depend on the model.

    The point I want to bring is….after the race…. to replace the parts and labor cost on these highly sophisticated racing cars are costing almost equal to BUYING A NEW CAR….They are built and race to win….and not for old crocks rally.

    Therefore I guarantee the company or the guys who leased these toys will charge almost the cost of buying one….for leasing these highly sophisticated racing cars….

    Do you know that Michale Jordan who is a Racing motor bike fan…has employed a hugh full time employes to upgrade his racing motor bikes (Michael Jorden Motor Sports -initiated 2004) Invested Billions of Dollars and yet to win a race.

    My Final conclusion is TO LEASE THESE MOTOR CARS THE LESSOR CHARGES ALMOST THE AMOUNT AS TO BUY A NEW CAR…..leave alone Comprehensive full insurance and liability coverage and cost of shipping back to Lessor.

    So these cars are here to stay…….duty free.

    Yes Pretty soon these toys will be driven by Namal, Rohitha,Yoshitha, Mervin, Malaka and other Govt. A.s Lick..’s Sons.

    Await for the next Race car Muppet show.

    Good luck Sri Lanka.

  • 0

    Next time you see the board ‘your tax rupees at work, think twice’.

    The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) lost Rs. 2.9 million from the Colombo Night Races after Western Province Chief Minister Prassana Ranathunga gave instructions for the CMC not to charge a tax on the tickets sold for the event.
    Under local laws when such an event or carnival is staged in the Colombo Municipal Council limits a tax is imposed on each ticket sold.
    However Ranathunga had issued instructions to the CMC not to charge the tax on tickets sold for the night races at Galle Face recently.
    The CMC had approved tickets to the value of at Rs. 29 million for the night races and stood to gain Rs. 2.9 million by way of a 10 percent tax on each ticket.
    Deputy Mayor Titus Perera said that Ranathunga had issued similar instructions for the night races last year as well which resulted in the CMC losing out on much needed revenue.

    When The Sunday Leader contacted Chief Minister Prassana Ranathunga, he confirmed that instructions were given to exempt taxes from the tickets sold fpr the night races. He said that as the Chief Minister he had every right to take such a decision in the best interest of the city and the country. – Typical response from a Govt politicians. Where and what is the interest of the country?

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