AS you were.
The dates for this year’s season-ending motocross event – the Zimbabwe Summer Series – have been officially released and the event will revert to its traditional format of three days spread over Wednesday, Friday and Sunday during the first week of December.
Collin Matiza Sports Editor
The Zimbabwe Summer Series is the biggest motorcycling event in this country and it has over the past decade attracted top international dirt bike riders from the United States, the United Kingdom as well as those from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Botswana.
Top riders from Eswatini and Namibia have also graced this event in the past years.
This exciting three-day event, which consists of two Supercross (night racing) and a full day of some motocross racing, was traditionally held during the second week of December at the home of local motorsport events in this country – Donnybrook Park Raceway in Harare.
It usually revved off with two Supercross racing on Wednesday and Friday followed by some motocross action on Sunday.
But the Covid-19 pandemic that hit these shores at the beginning of March 2020 forced the organisers of this event to squeeze it over three consecutive days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in 2022.
According to the dates for this year’s Zimbabwe Summer Series, which were recently released by the Bogwheelers Club who run this big international event on behalf of Motorsport Zimbabwe, the competition will revert to its original format of two Supercross race meetings that will be held on Wednesday, December 6 and Friday, December 8 followed by a full day of motocross competition on Day Three on Sunday, December 10.
Dougie Mellor, one of the organisers of the Zimbabwe Summer Series, said this year’s event promises to be bigger and better as they have already received some enquiries from South Africa.
“We are already preparing for this year’s Zimbabwe Summer Series and it should be exciting as some ‘spinners’ from South Africa have indicated that they would like to come up here to spice-up this event.
“But we need to find some sponsors to bring them up here because they obviously need some money to come and perform here.
“We are also expecting some of the top motocross riders from the USA, the UK, South Africa and Zambia to be part of this year’s event,” Mellor told Zimpapers Sport on the sidelines of the penultimate round of the 2023 Bogwheelers Club National Motocross Championship series at Donnybrook Park Raceway in Harare last Sunday.
Last year’s Zimbabwe Summer Series attracted more than 20 foreign riders from the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Zambia.
They included two top British riders Shaun Simpson and Jason Moirs; and South Africa’s Tristan Purdon.
Mellor said they were expecting more foreign entries for this year’s three-day motorcycling jamboree.
More than 2 000 local motocross fans and motorsport enthusiasts packed Donnybrook to watch the final day of last year’s Zimbabwe Summer Series and this year should be no exception.
Most of the top local senior and junior male and senior riders are expected to enter the competition and they include nine-year-old Victor Nyamupfukudza who is currently on a high after helping Zimbabwe to finish second overall behind South Africa during this year’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships which were held in Cape Town, South Africa, in August.
In Cape Town, Nyamupfukudza, a Grade Four pupil at Elland Oak Junior School in Waterfalls, Harare, managed to walk away with a trophy and a bronze medal after coming third overall in the juniors 50cc Class.
He continued with his fine form during the penultimate round of the 2023 Bogwheelers Club National Motocross Championship series at Donnybrook Park this last Sunday where he scored a double by sweeping to victory in the 50cc and 65cc classes.
Nyamupfukudza’s father and manager, Simbarashe Nyamupfukudza, owed his son’s success on the track in Cape Town and at Donnybrook on Sunday to former local motocross champion rider, Big “Bigs” Chitima, who is now into training young motocross riders at Donnybrook free of charge.
“Victor was just an average young rider before Big Chitima approached me and offered to train him for free sometime last year.
“Since then Victor’s riding has been exceptionally good and out of this world. He is now a monster on the track, all this because of Big Chitima who is just a good motocross trainer… He is really good when it comes to training these young riders,” Simbarashe Nyamupfukudza said.
He also said his son just can’t wait to get back on the track for the final round of this year’s 2023 Bogwheelers Club National Championship series at Donnybrook Park on October 22 where he is likely to be crowned the 50cc Champion for this year.
Victor is also in contention for the 65cc title. Kudzwai Chitsurura currently leads the National 65cc Class Standings with Victor following closely behind.
An outright two out of two victory on the final day of the Bogwheelers Club National Motocross Championship series at Donnybrook on October 22 will see Victor walking away with the 65cc title.
Victor is also looking forward to racing at December’s Zimbabwe Summer Series before he graduates from being a 50cc rider to a 65cc biker next year.
“In fact, apart from competing in the 50cc Class this year, Victor has also been racing in the 65cc Class with his 50cc bike.
“But next year will see him moving a class up into 65cc and we are hoping to get a sponsor who will help him to get a latest 65cc bike.
“We are just keeping our fingers crossed for a well-wisher or well-wishers to come on board and bankroll this future champion,” Simbarashe Nyamupfukudza said.
He said they were also looking at having Victor to compete in the tough seven-round South African National Motocross Championship series as from next year.
“Since he will be a 65cc Class rider next year, I think it’s high time that Victor should open new avenues and compete in the South African National Motocross Championship series next year.