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Motorsport endures Covid-19 pandemic

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

ZIMBABWE main circuit racing organisers, Sables Motor Racing Club, have vowed to complete their scheduled races for the 2020 season despite operating under strict Covid-19 regulations, which do not allow spectators at events.

Classified as a low risk sport by the Sports ministry three months ago, motorsport has been given the green light to resume activities and has already held one competition at the Donnybrook Raceway.

In a bid to uphold Covid-19 safety regulations imposed by the government as well as to keep the spectators away, the Sables club decided not to publicise their events.

“Motorsport is very much alive in the country and has not been killed by the coronavirus, but we are just operating in secret at the moment. We had a race meeting last month with 22 cars and 10 bikes, unfortunately we are not allowed spectators by the Covid-19 regulations,” Sables club chairperson Jim Perry said in an interview with Standardsport.

“We have had to create a WhatsApp group for drivers and officials only where we can communicate important information for our races. Our races are not supposed to go beyond 3pm so we have had to start at 8am to make sure we finish on time. After that everyone is dismissed because we can’t socialise like we used to,” he said.

Perry allayed fears that the Covid-19 virus outbreak would snuff the life out of motorsport in the country.

“Racing is not dying because of Covid-19, we are going to make sure that we fulfil all our scheduled meetings for the rest of the year. There are two more upcoming races in Harare. There is supposed to be another event in Bulawayo this weekend but Covid regulations bar intercity travelling, so sadly Harare drivers cannot take part,” said Perry.

The motorsport season was disrupted in its infancy following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of the year with most motorsport genres such as karting, motox and the main circuit racing having barely begun.

Resultantly the entire season has been ruined and clubs are already looking beyond this year, hoping normalcy will have returned by the start of next season.

“It’s been hard to go on without the fans as they are big part of motorsport. “We also have to go without sponsors since we can’t give them the publicity they deserve under the circumstances.

“Sadly there will be no national championships this year and no awards. We are hoping that this thing goes away and we can have spectators back. We also hope that businesses will be able to recover so that we can get sponsorship next season,” Perry said.

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