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THE 2015 Telecel Drag Racing Series got off to a fantastic start last Sunday as over 3 500 people poured into Donnybrook Raceway to witness the first drag racing event of the year. Record numbers of spectators and competitors alike turned up on the day for what could only been described as an outstanding action-filled day.

Road arteries into Donnybrook struggled to cope with long queues as excited spectators continued to arrive throughout the action-packed day. The atmosphere at the event in the afternoon was nothing short of “electric”.

With nearly 90 competitors taking part in the racing on the day, the drag strip was a busy place, recording hundreds of races throughout the two club championships and the ever-popular elimination event.

The hot weather and sunny skies offered the perfect setting for this fuel-fed frenzy, but also took its toll on the competitors and vehicles. Many of the motorcyclists and drivers in open top cars battled with the heat. However, even that did not put them off the action on the track.

Surprisingly, only one engine failure was reported on the day, an unfortunate result of pushing too hard in the excessive heat!

“Sables-Dragpro is extremely delighted with the turnout of both competitors and spectators today and having more than 15 new competitors at this year’s first event is very pleasing too,” commented Tyron from Dragpro on Sunday.

“The popularity of drag racing under Sables-Dragpro is continuing to grow for the fourth year in a row now, which is very encouraging for the sport.”

Temba Mazvimbakupa of the Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation added: “Many thanks to the thousands of motorsport fanatics who thronged Donnybrook Raceway in Harare to watch the first event of the 2015 drag racing season. Sunday 22nd March was indeed an awesome day for not only yours truly ,but for our valued sponsors, the media team and the organisers. It won’t be long before motorsport takes a position among the leading sports brands in the country.”

The end of day standings on Sunday saw Alan Cacace in his nitrous-powered V8 retaining the 2014 crown for “fastest car of the day”, with an elapsed time of 11,533 as his nearest rivals battled against him.

The motorcycle championship was hard fought between 2014 champion Les Carlsson and 2013 champion Phil Archenoul.

The ageless Archenoul was in form on the day and managed to regain the title with an elapsed time of 10,624, putting on quite a show for the spectators in the process.

And Archenoul was ecstatic after his latest achievement.

“What an incredible day at Donnybrook! The spectators were just amazing makes me proud to be Zimbabwean! I was fortunate enough to win both motorcycle classes and fastest time of the day. Grateful thanks to Snap-on tools, Castrol, Samsung, BGI insurance and Power Pipes, all leaders in their own fields. A huge up to our fans and friends, without you guys it wouldn’t be worth racing. We salute you guys!!” Archenoul wrote on his Facebook wall after the race on Sunday.

In the bracket racing championship held earlier in the day, Arist Koutoungos in his Toyota Corolla and Theo Da Fonseca on his Suzuki GSXR surprised all, claiming first place in cars and motorcycles respectively in this newly-introduced championship designed to level the playing field where budget and vehicle performance come second to driver consistency.

The highlight and final event of the day, the Knock-out Eliminations, had the crowds in a frenzy as competitors were knocked out one at a time until “Fastest Eliminator of the Day” were declared for the bikes and cars. Again, Cacace and Archenoul trumped the competition and came out tops, to the crowd’s delight.

With spectators and competitors already actively chatting on social media in anticipation for the next drag racing event on May 31 at the same venue, more Telecel racing action is guaranteed.

Source : The Herald