Zimbabwe: No International Riders for Zim Summer Series

3 December 2021

THE country's season-ending motocross event, the Zimbabwe Summer Series, which is scheduled for this month in Harare, will miss an international flavour after lockdown measures were tightened this week to prevent a surge of the Covid-19 cases.

The Zimbabwe Summer Series is due to take place on December 8, 10 and 12 at Donnybrook Park Raceway.

Among the measures put in place, returning residents and visitors must undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Organisers of the event have also adjusted some of the events to meet the curfew requirements which is now from 9pm to 6am.

They were expecting riders from Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and the UK.

But the secretary of the Bogwheelers Club that runs motocross in this country, under Motorsport Zimbabwe, Jamie Kerwin confirmed that it will now be an all-local riders competition.

It is less than 10 days to go before the event takes off, those riders will not be able to meet the measures.

Kerwin said the expected foreign riders will no longer be part of this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series.

"The tightened lockdown measures have obviously been a blow. Sadly, due to the quarantine being put in place, no outside riders will be attending this year."

This is a blow for the event and the organisers who had hoped international riders will add some excitement to the competition that marks the end of the 2021 motorcycling season.

They were expecting 10 riders from Zambia to be part of the annual event and they were going to race in different classes that include the 85cc, MX3 and Masters.

Zambia's seasoned rider, Dale Holliday, had confirmed his participation and nine other riders from that country were set to join him.

England-based Zimbabwean rider Tyler Mabika is no longer coming as well. He was expected in the country this weekend together with his father, Artwell, who is also his trainer.

The 14-year-old was looking forward to compete in his home country but will have to wait for another opportunity.

With curfew extended, Supercross, which is a night event, will now have some of the heats early so that they do not violate their curfew order.

"Due to the new curfew times in place we have restructured the times that Supercross will run, having some heats in daylight (which defeats what Supercross is but need to accommodate riders and respect the law), and some heats in the early evening allowing us to be finish in time for people to get home by curfew cut-off time," said Kerwin.

The Bogwheelers Club secretary said restrictions on the numbers of spectators that can attend sporting events have also affected their events since their competitions rely on support from spectators.

"The Zimbabwe Summer Series and motorsport rely heavily on the support of spectators. So the restricted numbers of spectators due to Covid has had a huge impact on motorsport.

"Motocross and Supercross are both very exciting disciplines of motorsport with a huge spectator following. The Zimbabwe Summer Series is our biggest attraction of the year. The Zimbabwe Summer Series is very reliant on spectators to make it successful.

"Our tracks are in wide open spaces and spectators are not confined or cramped. They usually sit within family units and we strictly enforce social distancing, wearing of masks and regularly sanitising or washing of hands," said Kerwin.

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