Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FOREIGN drivers and riders that will compete in the Bulawayo Motoring Club (BMC) organised Toyota Castrol Three-Hour Endurance are expected to start arriving tomorrow ahead of the weekend’s race.
The last motoring event of the year will be held on Saturday at the Bulawayo Motorsport Park, formerly known as Victoria Falls Road Circuit.
By the end of yesterday, 53 participants, 39 car drivers and 14 superbike riders, had registered for the event, which has drawn participants from South Africa, United Kingdom and Botswana.
“Foreign participants will start arriving on Wednesday so that they familiarise themselves with the circuit on Thursday and Friday. We also expect the number of participants to rise as we get closer to the race day. When we went for the weekend, we had registered 50 and today (Monday) we got three more,” said Leonora Young, a member of the BMC organising committee.
Car drivers will compete in the three-hour endurance race with bikers battling it out in an hour race.
Defending three-hour endurance race champion Wayne Jardine’s Shelby Can Am powered by a Nissan V6, 3.5 litre engine is expected to arrive from South Africa tomorrow.
Last year, Jardine shared his drive with South African Mike Verrier and is yet to reveal his partner for this year’s race.
Jardine and Verrier are both champions of the 2017 South African Endurance Series National Class T, having shared the title throughout the year.
Bulawayo’s favourite, Darren Winterboer, who competes in his BMW, has also registered for the race. Winterboer has won the three-hour endurance race a record six times and holds the record number of laps of 127 for this race. He is the overall national champion, Class B champion and Index of Performance champion in the South African Endurance Series.
Some of the familiar names that have registered for the race include Denzil Bhana, Darren Pragji, Bob Beaver and Stuart Young, all from Bulawayo.
Bhana will make his appearance in a Ford Escort powered by a 2100 cc engine and has entered the Saloon A class. Pragji will be racing his old faithful orange Datsun 1200, a favourite amongst the spectators and is competing in the Saloon Class C category.
Beaver will drive his green mini and is tipped to win the Class D Saloon, while Young and new comer Craig Goby will both compete in the Sports A category.
Also on the list of car entries in the three-hour race are Colin Ellison from South Africa and Greg Thornton from the United Kingdom, driving an Alpha GTAm and an Alpha Sprint GT respectively, competing in the Saloon B class. Thornton is a former 2013 FIA Historic F1 World Champion.
In the bikers’ section, South Africa’s first black female superbike rider Morongoa Mahope, young South African Savannah Woodward and Harare-based Shaun Whyte, who has won the national title on a number of occasions, are among top riders that have registered.