Collin Matiza Sports Editor
ZIMBABWE’S female Superbike sensation Jessica Howden made her presence felt during the Midas PE200 & Klinicare PE100 Endurance Race Championships at the Aldo Scribante Circuit in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at the weekend where she managed to last the distance in the two races that she competed in.
Only 15-years-old and having started riding in early June this year, Howden showed no ghost of inferiority complex in a field that was mostly made up of seasoned South African Superbike riders as she wagged her tail vigorously during the two days of racing at the iconic Port Elizabeth venue.
Riding for one of South Africa’s top racing teams — Monroe Racing Team — under the guidance of seasoned trainer Vic Rich, Howden first entered the PSP Class which attracted the most entries with a full field of 37 riders.
According to Rich, Friday’s practice was a challenge trying to find a good race set-up, coupled with the first time riding in wind speed up to 40km/h as Port Elizabeth is renowned for.
Riding one of three 300cc machines with other bigger machines, Howden qualified in a credible 14th place.
Both heats saw enormous battles with Howeden finishing 15th overall.
The main race of the day was the PE100, a 20-lap sprint and Howden had a bad start, but she managed to carve her way to 10th position. A fine display again by “Miss Dynamite”.
Howden is now heading back home to Zimbabwe where she is scheduled to be among the star attractions during the Toyota/hp lubes Castrol three-hour endurance race meeting at Bulawayo Motorsport Park in Bulawayo on December 1.
According to one of the event’s organisers Dean Norman, the three-hour endurance car race has now received its 17th entry and from Harare they now have Rowan Whyte and seasoned campaigner Craig Green in a Subaru WRX STI. #17.
And Whyte said: “The three-hour endurance race for me is the most exciting event on the calendar. This event will test both driver and machine, mentally and physically.
“Preparation is a big component in this race, and a lot of work goes into the build up before the start. Although there is a lot of competition, I am hoping to improve on my previous finishes. I wish all the drivers a safe and an enjoyable event.”
And Green chipped in by saying: “I have been racing for about 20 odd years in main track and rallying (but) for the last three years I have been racing my Toyota Corolla RXI in the 1600cc Class Championship. This year will be my third driving with Rowan in his Subaru WRX STi . We are going to try our best to be right up there at the flag. All the best to all competitors and let’s hope for a fun and safe 2018 three-hour endurance race. Also a big thanks to all the sponsors and organisers for this event. See you on the Brakes. Ciao Craig.”
Green’s partner, Rowan Whyte, is son to two-time African motor rally champion, Jamie Whyte, who has now retired from the sport.
Jamie Whyte wrote his own piece of history by winning back-to-back African motor rally titles in 2009 and 2010 with a helping hand from his close friend, navigator Phil “Archie” Archenoul.