Zim Superbiker Jessica Howden heads to PE

Collin Matiza Sports Editor
FAST-RISING Zimbabwe female Superbike rider Jessica Howden is set to compete in possibly the biggest event in South Africa this year when she takes part in the Midas PE200 & Klinicare PE100 Endurance Race Championships at the Aldo Scribante Circuit in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

The 15-year-old rookie rider, who has only been riding since early June this year, is now part of one of South Africa’s top motor racing teams, Monroe Racing Team, which is under the guidance of the sport’s top trainers in that country, Vic Rich.

And Rich told The Herald from his base in Johannesburg yesterday that Howden will be part of his team during this weekend’s Midas PE200 & Klinicare PE100 Endurance Race Championships in Port Elizabeth.

Algoa Motorsport Club of Port Elizabeth will be hosting the two-day event on Saturday and Sunday; and it will be graced by our own rising “Queen of the Track” — Jessica Howden.

“Yes, she is riding in possibly the biggest event in South Africa. She will compete in two categories, the first one, the PE200, is the two sprint race with over 42 entries from all over South Africa and the second one is the PE100, which is traditionally an endurance race for one hour. “She will be competing on the Monroe Racing Yamaha R3 machine and this will be good practice for her next event which is the Toyota/hp/lubes Castrol three-hour and one-hour endurance race two weeks later in Bulawayo, there in Zimbabwe,” Rich said.

And this weekend will see Howden rubbing shoulders with some of South Africa’s top motor racing stars, including the legendary South Africa rally and track racing champion Sarel van der Merwe.

According to reports from South Africa, van der Merwe (71), also known as Supervan, will make his return to Aldo Scribante Raceway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday when he takes part in the bumper race meeting.

“Supervan” will be participating in the historic and retroracing class, driving a high powered Mazda RX 2 Rotary race car.

The event, which has received over 200 entries so far, will start with sprint races at 9am for motorcycles and cars, while the afternoon is filled with motorcycle endurance races made up of the Klinicare PE100 of 20 laps for historic, powersport, KTM, masters and breakfast run riders, followed by the Old Mutual International 40 lap PE200 that will feature the high-speed 600cc, BOTTs and Unlimited Riders.

At 6pm the cars will take to the circuit for the start of the Midas Three-Hour Endurance Race. In all the endurance races, the competitors will have to make at least one compulsory pit stop.

During the stop, there will be driver and rider changes, while their vehicles are refueled, tyres are changed and the technicians working against the clock to get competitors back on track as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Zimbabwe and hp/lubes Castrol three-hour endurance race, which is scheduled for December 1 at Bulawayo Motorsport Park in Bulawayo, has received a fourth bike entry for its one-hour bike endurance race — South Africa’s female rider Daphne Lang.

New recruit, 22-year-old Lang is the third member of the Monroe Racing Team entrant for the Toyota/hp/lubes Castrol three-hour and one-hour endurance race meeting.

Lang cut her teeth on 1000cc machines and has adapted well to her new Monroe Kawasaki ZX6. Entered as #41 and although new to Zimbabwe on a new machine, the organisers of this event are confident for team podium for her.

“Indeed it is a privilege to be drafted into one of the most professional race teams in the world and everyone’s dream to be part of. Zimbabwe is unknown to me, but with all the reviews and support from my teammates, I will give it my best. “Thank you Toyota and Castrol for investing in our sport even with your challenging times. #we coming Bulawayo,” Lang posted on Bulawayo Motosport Park’s Facebook wall on Monday.

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