The Herald (Harare)

24 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Spills, Thrills At D'Brook

SPILLS and thrills will once again be the order of the day when the home of motorsport in Zimbabwe -- Donnybrook -- hosts the final event of the 2012 Dragpro Club Drag Racing and Sound Off Series tomorrow.

Drag racing has been a breath of fresh air since it found its way back into the local motorsport radar at the beginning of this year and local motor racing enthusiasts have already embraced this exciting sport.

In fact, the spectator turnout has been impressive in the last five events of drag racing at Donnybrook this season and another bumper crowd is expected for tomorrow's final event of the year.

Dragpro Club, who run the sport of drag racing in this country, yesterday said spectators should brace themselves for a riveting contest as the 2012 season reaches its climax at Donnybrook tomorrow.

Apart from who will take the crown as the best driver of the season, there are plenty of highlights that will hog the limelight at this event. There will be US$5 000 worth of prizes to be won and several trophies will be awarded including those for the fastest car and motorbike.

But who will take the crowns of the fastest car and fastest bike at tomorrow's final event of the 2012 Drag Racing and Sound Off Series at Donnybrook? This is the question and debate making the rounds of drag racing enthusiasts.

Will the fastest car be the yellow V8 Beach Buggy, driven by seasoned campaigner Patrick O'Hara, or the Blue Sti Subaru, driven by Kevin Allmark, or a total newcomer or wildcard?

The time to beat for the car quarter mile is currently 10.8 seconds (a record held by O'Hara in the Beach Buggy) and for the bike quarter mile 10.4 seconds (a record held by Phil Archenoul on the Suzuki). Will Archenoul, a former motor rally navigator, with his Suzuki GSXR, finally be upstaged by one of the newcomers on bigger and better bikes?

There is of course always the possibility that one of the vehicles won't bear up with the pressure of the sixth event of the year -- when the pressure is on to keep working a vehicle to get more and more out of it, that's when things often start going wrong.

And Susan Zevgolis, the secretary of the Dragpro Club, said yesterday that tomorrow's event promises to be the most exciting one for this season.

"Sunday promises to be an exciting day (and) as the club we have received a lot of enquiries through our advertising campaign from people wanting to find out about signing on to compete for the first time, or just expressing interest in being there as a spectator to watch the action and enjoy the atmosphere. There should be the usual AC Cobras, Nissan Skylines, Subarus, Toyota Supras, Sylvias and high performance bikes including the Kawasaki Ninja and Suzuki GSXR competing, as well as any assortment of standard vehicles from Mazda 323s to 4x4s and pickups and even MX Pee Wee bikes.

"This event has seen an impressive array of vehicles compete throughout the year, from standard everyday cars to high performance modified vehicles and super bikes," Zevgolis said.

Terry Allberry will also be travelling up from Bulawayo with his Cobra and a wealth of racing experience to his name.

Zevgolis said plans are afoot next year to hold a drag racing series in conjunction with Bulawayo Motoring Club to encourage travel and support between the two clubs on the drag racing front.

"Don't forget also to come along to the Sound Off paddock at the far end of the pits to check out what auto audio systems have been entered in the Sound Off event.

"If your vehicle boasts some impressive sound, bring it along to enter the Sound Off competition," she said.

Action at Donnybrook tomorrow starts at 10am and will go on until 6pm, and will immediately be followed by a prize-giving ceremony.

So, tomorrow promises to be an unforgettable day for the local motorsport enthusiasts who will be out to watch some of the fastest cars and motorbikes in action at Donnybrook.

Donnybrook motor racing circuit, just adjacent to Harare's eastern high-density suburb of Mabvuku, may not be a Kyalami but with bits of touch-ups, it could get close to that.

The spectator safety features at this race track are impressive especially the concrete barricades, sand banks along the speedway and the on-track medical response vehicles.

So, if you want to know what all the buzz is about, come along to Donnybrook tomorrow and join the Dragpro Club for a fun action packed day.

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