Collin Matiza Sports Editor
GARY Grainger has bounced back as the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club, a body that runs the popular motorcycling sport of motocross in Zimbabwe.
According to Temba Mazvimbakupa of the Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation, Grainger was recently elected as the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club for 2016 and he takes over the hot seat from Shaun Whyte who led the club for the past two years.
In fact, Whyte replaced Grainger as the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club at the beginning of the 2014 motocross season and during his two-year tenure, the former South Africa Superbikes national champion oversaw the successful staging of the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships at Donnybrook in Harare in August last year.
The 2015 FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships attracted a record number of over 200 junior and senior riders from seven African countries — Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and the hosts Zimbabwe.
More than 2 000 motorsport fans also thronged Donnybrook to watch this exciting event for two days and that was easily the highlight of Whyte’s reign as the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club.
And after running the affairs of the Bogwheelers Club for the past two years with some distinction, Whyte decided to hand the baton back to another seasoned motorsport administrator Grainger who was behind the revival of the Zimbabwe Summer Series.
The Zimbabwe Summer Series is the country’s premier motorcycling event which is held over three days during the second week of December and it usually attracts top junior and senior foreign motocross riders from the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.
The event, a regular feature on the local motorsport calendar for over two decades, suffered a brief hiatus just after the turn of the new millennium but Grainger was strongly behind its revival when he was first elected as the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club in January 2012.
He held the post for two years before ceding power to Whyte at the beginning of 2014 only to bounce back this year and has been mandated to run the Bogwheelers Club for another two years.
Meanwhile, the first club event of the 2016 motocross season will be held this coming Sunday at Donnybrook in Harare.
As usual, this event will attract all the top local junior and senior motocross riders such as Regan Wasmuth, Nicholas Fremantle, Kuda Mhene (Jnr), Bradley Perry, the exciting Emmanuel Bako, Liam Robinson, Ryan Masimo, Tristan Versfeld, Daiyaan Manuel, the Chigumba brothers Lee and Mudiwa, Davin Cocker, Tristan Grainger, Blaize and Shane Thomas, Reagan Bond, Big “BJ” Chitima (Jnr) and the country’s top female biker Tanya Muzinda.
In fact, Muzinda, who is the reigning Junior Sportsperson of the Year in Zimbabwe, will this year be competing in two classes — the 65cc A Class and 85cc Class — and is also looking forward to taking part in the tough seven-round Monster Energy South African National Championship series for the first time in her career this season.
The 2016 Monster Energy South African National Championship series is scheduled to kick-off on February 27 at Rover Raceway in the Eastern Cape and a number of Zimbabwean riders such as Bako, Mhene (Jnr), Wasmuth, Masimo and Muzinda are expected to take part in this season’s opener.
But after having last hit the dirt on the track in December last year during the 2015 Zimbabwe Summer Series, all these riders will first have to “scrap off the rust” during this Sunday’s first club event of the season at Donnybrook in Harare. Entry fee for this Sunday’s event has been pegged at $5 per person while children under the age of 12 will get in for free. There will be full bar and catering.