FIREWORKS are expected as the Zimbabwean motor racing community gathers at Donnybrook Raceway in Harare today for the Toyota At 50 National Championships.
About 200 racers will battle it out for honours.
Sponsored by Toyota Zimbabwe, this will be part of worldwide celebrations to mark the 50th birthday of one of their iconic vehicles, Toyota Hilux, which is arguably the world’s most successful pick-up truck.
The managing director of Toyota Zimbabwe, Ian Howden, himself a fine racer although he won’t be part of the racing cast today, said the race will be unique and promised fireworks.
Howden was bitten by the motor racing bug while growing up in Harare.
But it was only after serving his apprenticeship with Toyota South Africa that he was able to pursue his passion.
“We are expecting great competition in Saturday’s (today) racing at Donnybrook Raceway. Nothing and fireworks will be the order of the day,’’ said Howden.
‘’I am very convinced that our celebrations of the Toyota Hilux@50 anniversary will fittingly be spiced by great things on the track.
‘’A whole lot of excellent racers, some from South Africa, will grace this event and you cannot expect anything short of fireworks.
“It’s a family day and spectators should come in their numbers for the event.”
Howden said the first 50 people at the venue in a Toyota Hilux will enjoy free entrance.
“The first 50 people to come to the raceway in a Toyota Hilux, with which we will be celebrating, will enjoy free entrance.
“Spectators will be required to pay $5 with children under the age of 12 admitted free of charge.
“This is a must-attend show and I am sure spectators will be clamouring for more by the time the race ends.’’
With full grids in all of the Sports and Saloon Car classes, as well as visiting South African Superbikes riders, today’s race meeting surely promises to provide some fireworks.
Today’s event will be graced by one of South Africa’s top female Superbikes riders, Zante Otto, who, interestingly, is set to face Howden’s daughter, Jessica, on the track.
There will be a full “menu” of main circuit racing with vehicles taking part in different classes today.
In fact, there will be a 50-lap main race with cars and bikes racing the whole day.
And to spice up the day, there will be a Hilux v Hilux “special race”.
Temba Mazvimbakupa, an official with the Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation, yesterday urged the local motorsport enthusiasts to come to Donnybrook today in their thousands.
‘’Toyota Zimbabwe is one of the biggest sponsors of motorsport in Zimbabwe. It’s also not a secret that their sponsored races often attract a large number of local and regional competitors.
“This year’s event (today) promises to be bigger and better. I (would like to) urge local motosport fans to come in their numbers and also to come in early to watch this exciting event at Donnybrook.
“We wish our drivers and riders the very best and do what you do best and more importantly have fun, ‘’ Mazvimbakupa said.
Racing today starts at 10am.