Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
DEFENDING Toyota Castrol Three-Hour Endurance race champion, Wayne Jardine, is among the first top riders who have registered for the final Motor Racing event of the year to be held in Bulawayo next Saturday.
Fifty participants — 38 car drivers and 12 superbike riders — have registered for the event which will take place at the Bulawayo Motorsport Park, formerly known as Victoria Falls Road Circuit.
Leonora Young, a member of the organising committee, said riders and drivers from South Africa, United Kingdom, Botswana, Harare and Bulawayo will be taking to the track.
“The event has begun and entries by competitors are steadily flowing in. This being the biggest event on the racing calendar, it is one not to be missed by motor sport enthusiasts countrywide. Competitors from South Africa, United Kingdom, Botswana, Harare and Bulawayo will all be making their way to the circuit for a race weekend like no other. What is great is that top drivers and riders have already confirmed that they are coming,” said Young.
Last year’s winner of the three hour endurance race Jardine will race in his Shelby Can Am, powered by a Nissan V6, 3.5 litre engine. 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 faces who have registered for the race include Denzil Bhana, Darren Pragji, Bob Beaver and Stuart Young, all from Bulawayo.
Bhana will make his appearance in his Ford Escort powered by a 2100 cc engine and has entered in 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.
Bob 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 into 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 titles countless times, are among top riders who have registered.