IT'S all set for another dose of grit and gusto as the country's premier motocross event - the Zimbabwe Summer Series - finally bursts into life at the iconic Donnybrook Park in Harare tonight after much anticipation. This year's Zimbabwe Summer Series, which will consist of two Supercross (night racing) events and one full day of motocross racing, lifts off tonight and it will feature an all-star cast of junior and senior riders from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.
Tonight will see the staging of the first of two Supercross events which will be followed by another one on Friday night before a full day of motocross racing wraps up the 2018 Zimbabwe Summer Series on Sunday.
This year's Zimbabwe Summer Series has been spiced-up by the arrival of 13-year-old Bailey Johnston, the British 85cc (small wheel) champion, who will be making his debut appearance at this exciting three-day event at Donnybrook.
Johnston will definitely be the star attraction during this event as he pounds the track in the 85cc Class against some of Zimbabwe's finest young riders who include the irresistible Daiyaan "D" Manuel and the supremely talented Emmanuel Bako, who are both 13 years old.
The spotlight will also be on five members of the Grainger Racing Team - Ashley and Cameron Thixton, Tristan Grainger and the Moore brothers Hunter and Callum - who will be competing in different classes at this event.
The Thixton brothers Ashley and Cameron will lead a cast of senior Zimbabwean riders in the main MX1 Class while Grainger will be eyeing the first step on the podium in the 125cc Class. Not much is expected from the Moore brothers, Hunter and Callum, as they will be moving up to race in different classes during this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series. Hunter, who this year has been riding in the 65cc Class, will be testing his brand new bike in the 85cc (small wheel) Class as will his younger brother Callum who has just moved a class up from 50cc to 65cc Class.
Gary Grainger, the principal of the Grainger Racing Team, expects his senior riders Ashley and Cameron Thixton; and Tristan Grainger to carry the Zimbabwean flag high during this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series.
"Hopefully my senior riders Ashley, Cameron and Tristan will do well and make Zimbabwe proud in the different classes that they will be competing in but my junior riders, Hunter and Callum Moore, are on brand new bikes and we can't expect too much from them.
"We just want them to go out there and have some fun; and if any one of them gets a place on the podium, it will be a bonus for us," Gary Grainger said.
Upcoming 11-year-old female rider Tadiwanashe Nyamupfukudza will also be in the thick of things during this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series in which she will be riding against boys in the 65cc Class which will also feature Emmanuel Bako and his cousin Munyaradzi as well as other exciting junior riders such as Jordan Dewdney, Josh Halkier, Declan Barrett and Ross Stewart.
In fact, Nyamupfukudza's father and trainer, Simbarashe, recently indicated that his daughter will be riding in the 65cc Classs for the last time during this week's Zimbabwe Summer Series as next year will see her graduating to race in the 85cc (small wheel) Class. "Taddy has been riding in the 65cc Class for the past two or three years and since she will be turning 12 next year, she will be eligible to race in the 85cc (small wheel) Class where I think she will do well," Simba Nyamupfukudza said.
Another female rider Tanya Muzinda will also be moving a class up next year from 85cc to 125cc but it could not be established yesterday whether she will take part in this week's Zimbabwe Summer Series as she has just returned from a month-long tour of the United States where she competed in the tough Thor Winter Olympics Supercross and Motocross (Mini Os) Championships in Florida.
Racing today in the first Supercross meet at Donnybrook will start at 6pm and entry fees for spectators has been pegged at $5 per person while children under the age of 12 will get in for free. There will be full bar and catering.