The pioneering motor sports club in the south of Sri Lanka, Southern Motor Sports Club better known as SMSC, which was established by a group of motor sports enthusiast of Matara led by Suranjith Premadasa, Preethi Palliyaguru, Andrew Silva, and Ashhar Hameem in 1997 will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with a members day rally [...]


Southern Motor Sports Club roars past twenty


The pioneering motor sports club in the south of Sri Lanka, Southern Motor Sports Club better known as SMSC, which was established by a group of motor sports enthusiast of Matara led by Suranjith Premadasa, Preethi Palliyaguru, Andrew Silva, and Ashhar Hameem in 1997 will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with a members day rally and members night at the Pearl Cliff hotel on the 25th of November.

Dinesh Jayawardena setting a new course record for the Eliyakanda Hill climb.

Incidentally, the inaugural general meeting of the club was held at the same venue in Browns Hill, Matara on the 9th of February 1997 and the founding office bearers elected on that day were: Patrons S.K. Chandrasoma GA Matara (District Secretary), M. A. M. Hameem, N.P.G. Mendis Silva; President:              Suranjith Premadasa, Secretary: Preethi Palliyaguru, Treasurer: Ashhar Hameem; Vice Presidents: Dudley Hettiarachchi, Lalin de Silva, Mohan Surendra; Assistant Secretary: Andrew Silva; Committee: Dr. Oscar Amarasinghe, Priyantha Pathirana, Upul Kodituwakku, Andrew Gamage, Rohan Gamage, Harsha Priyadarshana, Aruna Siriwardena, A. B. Nimal De Silva, Athula Surendra and Shihan Samsudeen.

The objective of forming the SMSC was to popularise motor sports among the youth of the South as well as to take the standards of motor sports to international level. Due to the increasing enthusiasm shown the youth of the South, the Young Southern Motor Sports Club (YSMSC) was formed in 2012.

The club can boast of having a membership of 514 today,  has achieved its aim by being able to organise and conduct motor rallies and hill climbs by its own annually and proved that it was not expensive racing cars or bikes that were needed to win these events but precision driving and riding skills.

The first event to be organised by the SMSC was the Caltex – Marble Décor Southern Rally which was held on the 26th and 27th of July 1997 while the Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb was held for the first time on the 21st of December that year. These two events have been held every year since.

Ashhar Hamim - SMSC President

The Southern Rally now known as the Southern Monsoon Rally. The Southern Rally is a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) Road Rally which has been nicknamed as ‘a journey through the wilderness of the south’. The Southern Rally is possibly the most popular and most exciting and enjoyable rally in the country. The rally course plotted by SMSC’s renowned plotter Andrew Silva usually covers a distance of 500 to 750 km and traverses the wilderness and townships of the Matara, Galle, Ratnapura, Moneragala and Hambantota districts.

Since 2003 the Southern Rally has been renamed the Southern Monsoon Rally and is held in the month of September with the onset of South West monsoon which has made the event more exciting and requires a higher level of precision and skill.

SMSC organised its first Southern Rally to be conducted in the night was held in 2005 and was named the ‘CIC – Auto Finish Southern Night Rally 2005’ which has made the event more challenging.

The Southern
Eliyakanda Hill Climb

The Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb was the second event to be organised by the SMSC and was first held in December 1997. The Eliyakanda track was discovered by founding Secretary Preethi Palliyaguru. The short track is considered as very tricky and challenging.

Rally Sri Lanka

Rally Sri Lanka 2016 better known as the ‘Rumbling Wonder of Digamadulla’ and held in Ampara was organised and conducted by SMSC is the first speed rally to be held in accordance to FIA world governing board standards in Sri Lanka and will be the clubs third annual event.

Other landmark motor racing event the SMSC has been associated with are, Ratnapura Speed 2000 race on the invitation of the Sabaragamuwa Motor Sports Club and was held on a closed circuit of public roads in Ratnapura.

The Keels Hotels – SMSC Safari Rally 2004 held in Kantale was the first rally to be conducted to FIA (Federation Internale de L’Automobile), Asia Pacific Rally Championship Rules (APRC) rules in Sri Lanka. The gravel track for this speed rally was prepared with the help of the Sri Lanka Army.

The President’s Trophy Southern Super Cross 2006 held at the Ceylon Autodrome in Tissamaharama was another event that the SMSC was associated with. Toshiba – Premadasa Group – Wheels Lanka – Southern Triathlon 2005 was a unique meet with three completely different events held within two days; the 10th and 11th of September 2005 which comprised of an  Auto Test at Bandattara, a Night Drag Race at Weligama and the annual Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb.

Preethi Palliyaguru Memorial Toshiba Southern Eliakanda Hill Climb and Southern Auto Test 2006 was a dual meet conducted on the 17th and 18th of June 2006, with the newly constructed Matara Beach Road being used for the Auto Test event.

Southern Daewoo Festival of Speed 2007 was a triathlon with a difference, in which beach motor racing was introduced for the first time displaying SMSC’s eagerness to introduce novelties in motor sports. The coastal stretch along the Matara Beach Road was converted into a motor cycle track with exciting jumps and corners which attracted the country’s best motor cycle competitors.

Southern Beach Horse Races 2000 and 2001 was the first horse racing event to be held on a beach in Matara held on the 22nd of April 2000. The event was also repeated in a subsequent year.

SMSC – KORAC Rally 2017 was conducted by the Southern Motor Sports Club in collaboration with the Kandy Off Road Adventure Club (KORAC).

Most of the founding members and office bearers have served the club throughout its existence with founding Treasure Ashshar Hamim being elected to the helm this year. The present office bearers of SMSC are:  Patrons Pradeep Rathnayake (District Secretary Matara), Jayaraj Wijeyaweera, Dudley Hettiarachchi; President Ashhar Hameem; Immediate Past President Prof. Oscar Amarasinghe; Senior Vice Presidents: Dimuth Bambaravanage and Rizmin Razik; Vice Presidents: Dishan Goonasekara,  Nuski Iqbal and S.M.P. Jinnapriya; Secretary Andrew Silva; Assistant Secretaries Amila Sapukotana and Dakshina Ariyarathne; Treasurer Prasanna Wijewickrema; Assistant Treasurer Shihan Samsudeen; Committee Members Nuwan Samarawickrama, Harindunath Liyanage, Gihan Lahandapura, Chamila Wellakkage, Monty Uluvita, Dakshina Amarasinghe, Susantha Karunarathne, Indunil Sandaruwan, Damith Gajamange, Colombo Representative Suranjith Premadasa.

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