Concours d’Elegance postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

Friday, July 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Ugandan classic car enthusiast Kakooza Wazzir’s car at a previous function. He had confirmed participation at the CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance that had been slated for on September 24th with this 1991 Mitsuoka Le-Seyde coupe. Photo/PD/WEBSTER NYANDIKA

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to postpone this year’s Africa Concours d’Elegance event to next year.

It becomes the latest key sporting event in the country to be shelved since the disease was first reported in the country in March this year. 

Other key sporting events that have been cancelled or postponed because of the virus outbreak include Kenya Open Golf Championships, Safari Rally, World Under 20 Athletics championships that was slated for Nairobi, the Continental Tour that was planned for Nairobi as well, Kenyan Premier League, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) polls, Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Rugby Sevens series and Kenya Cup league among others.

Concours is the classiest event on the Kenya motorsport calendar and has Africa continental status for cars and motorcycles  sanctioned by FIM Africa in 2006.

Motoring enthusiasts gather at the Nairobi Racecourse on the last Sunday of September each year to admire the work of the competitors who spend months and sometimes years to prepare their glamorous cars and bikes for judging.

Event organisers said throngs of spectators make social distancing difficult and consequently health limitations on holding large events make it impossible to have the Concours this year.

The pandemic has had a drastic effect on schedules for major sporting events throughout the world and the Concours is the latest to bow to the inevitable. 

The expectations of competitors, sponsors, spectators and organizers have been bruised by this turn of events but the Concours organizers are cognizant of the need to adhere to laid-down health guidelines in fighting the pandemic.

It is likely that the motor sport calendar for 2021 will be a near a replica of this year’s. Accordingly the Alfa Romeo Owners Club anticipates that the postponed Concours will be listed for September 26th 2021.

Absence of Concours this year is bad news for the competitors and their helpers who have already spent money and many months preparing their magnificent cars and bikes. 

The disappointment will be felt beyond Kenya’s borders and affects the 24 Ugandans who have already submitted entries.

The event would have been the 50th edition in the annual series organised by the Alfa Rome Owners Club as a celebration and opportunity for owners of well kept machines to showcase them at the Nairobi Racecourse.

So far more than 20 participants from the Uganda Bikers Association (UBA) and eight from South Africa had confirmed participation in the race, but will have to wait until next year. 

The event normnally attracts participants to contest   for different prizes in 20 classes.

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