An “official” street racing event open to drivers and motorcyclists in the Maldives is to take place in Hulhumale’ later this month as part of the Maldives Motor Racing Association’s (MMRA) ‘Piston Motor Racing Challenge 2013’.
The event will give individuals the chance to experience racing with “no speed limits”, as long as they meet race requirements and have access to a vehicle, Piston Motor Racing Challenge Event Organiser Ismail Agleem told Minivan News today.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the race is the only motor racing challenge in the Maldives and is being undertaken in association with the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and MMRA.
“We have a special area in the industrial ground of Hulhumale’ which will be closed off for the riders and drivers to race in. It is going to set the benchmark for motor sport racing in the Maldives”, Agleem said.
“We want to encourage motor sport racing in the Maldives and eventually build an official track to encourage sports tourists into the country. It is an ideal location to attract people interested in motor racing,” he added.
According to the MMRA website, individuals who hold a valid licence and are “physically and mentally fit” will be eligible to take part in the race.
Agleem said that while anyone who meets the race requirements can enter, motor cyclists will be required to have five days worth of practice and car drivers will need to attend a practice session. Any competitor who fails to attend these sessions will be deemed a “non-qualifier”.
The MMRA website states that competitors in the junior events should also attach a “no objection” letter from a parent or guardian when submitting entry forms.
Asked whether there was a risk that the competitors – some of whom who may have only driven in the speed controlled zones of Male’ – risked an accident, Ismail said there had been “no serious accidents” in previous events, and that drivers are given plenty of time to practice.
Speed limits in Male, according to Transport Authority Chairman Abdul Rasheed Nafiz, are less than 30km/h, whereas for motorcycles the speed limit is just over 25km/h.
Police Spokesman Hassan Haneef today said that the Maldives Police Service (MPS) would be meeting with event organisers tomorrow to discuss matters regarding the race.
“Clearly driving [at speed] is an issue and that is our concern. We will be meeting with the event organisers tomorrow to discuss how we can work together,” Haneef told Minivan News.
Agleem said that roughly 95 vehicles will take part in the event, spread out across a 14 different races based on engine size and vehicle type.
According to Agleem, while the event is the fifth of its kind, it is the first time the MNDF have been involved and MMRA have worked together with Piston.
MNDF spokesman Colonel Abdul Raheem confirmed to Minivan News that the MNDF are involved in the event helping with “security and the preparation of the event.”
Raheem further stated that the MNDF will be providing medical services and an ambulance should it be needed.
The MMRA website claims the event will “provide a safe environment for racers to come out and show their talent” while also directly helping “to reduce traffic violations” in regard to speeding and dangerous driving.
MMRA members are not allowed to perform stunts without permission of “concerned authorities” and is fully against illegal street racing, the website states.
According to the MMRA website, the association was legally registered in 2009 and has organised many events, rider development programs and fundraisers in the past years.
The Piston Motor Racing Challenge Facebook page also states that organisers will be working together with local law enforcement agencies to ensure public road safety.
Starting on January 18, the event will be officially launched at Raalhugandu in Male, followed by a car and bike procession through the main streets of Male’.
Qualifying rounds for the race will take place in Hulhumale on January 25, and the actual race will take place on January 26, according to the MMRA website.
Between the race days, the Facebook page states there there will be raves, drag races, DJs and live music as well as stunt shows and fireworks.
“We have invited all cabinet and parliament members to come along to the races too,” added Agleem.
Race day events
There will be a total of ten motorcycle races and four car race events as follows:
- Mio, Airblade, PCX open event
- 125 modified
- 135 modified
- 125 to 135 open
- 125 to 200 manual open
- 400 to 750 modified
- 600 to 1000 modified
- 400 to 1000 open event
- Exhibit event
- Ladies scooter event
Car race events:
- 1000 to 1600 modified
- 1600 to 2000 modified
- Up to 3000 and above open event
- RX8 event
Race entries are now closed. Photographs by ‘rushhphotos’.