Tuk-Tuk racing doesn’t exist, it can’t hurt us – or so we thought. So, Sri Lanka saw an opportunity to race auto-rickshaws and it isn’t one of them races in a back alley. There’s a real track, real racers, real navigators, real sponsors, and a real challenge as well. Since the coronavirus pandemic has had us working from home, we’ve been making revelations like these on the Internet. Now that you know tuk-tuk racing is a thing, get in on the action with the video below and perhaps have this on your list of things-to-see when you visit Sri Lanka the next time (when the world’s dealt with the COVID situation, of course).
Red Bull has been organising these races from what appears to be a long time. We came across accounts of travellers who found Sri Lanka’s tuk-tuk racing a good subject to write about. And why wouldn’t they? Auto-rickshaws or tuk-tuks have become a South Asian icon with their varying iterations in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc.
The race runs across one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic routes – from Avissawella to Nuwara Eliya. While the race is primarily designed for enjoyment, the terrain does provide obvious challenges and in addition, racers must also search for clues along the way. The winners take home a prize of Sri Lankan Rs 10 lakh (approximately Rs 4 lakh).
The event goes on for two days and has some 200 teams competing in the iconic three-wheelers. Each team has three members and the tuk-tuks are also judged on creativity and design.
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This sounds likes it’s scenic and fun, however, what we found on GiveMeSport’s Facebook page are some glimpses of Red Bull Tuk It which looks rather challenging. Crashing is not something the drivers and navigators are unaware of and there isn’t much attention paid to safety gear – there are no helmets or even shoes. But imagine emerging triumphant from one of these events. Won’t that be something?