Eight Nominees for “Motor Sportsman of the Year”

There are eight nominations for the 2013 Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists “Motor Sportsman of the Year” award, which will be announced at a special function in Johannesburg on March 11.  There are two nominees for the Colin Watling Award, which recognises significant contribution and achievement by a non-competitor in motor sport. This is the 21st year that Bridgestone has sponsored the most prestigious award in local motor sport, which dates back to 1964 and recognises and rewards outstanding and remarkable achievements by South African motor sport competitors. The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:   Motor Sportsman of the Year:  Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton, South African rally champions for the second year in a row in a semi-privateer Ford Fiesta, scored seven wins out of eight events against the factory teams from Toyota and Volkswagen. They totally dominated the championship, winning 47 of the 89 special stages contested. They also finished fifth in the Malcolm Wilson Rally in England in their first taste of overseas competition together, after running as high as third before a spin dropped them back. Brett Cummings earned his entry into the 2013 Dakar Rally (motorcycle category) when he won the Dakar Challenge at the 2012 Australasian Safari in Australia. In January 2013 he finished his first ever Dakar Rally in 43rd place overall after losing lots of time and positions when he towed his Australian team-mate during one of the toughest stages. Without personal sponsors, he was forced to enter the 2014 Dakar Rally in the Malle Moto class (no service crew or any kind of assistance). He finished 28th overall, second in the Malle Moto class and third in the amateur marathon class. Giniel de Villiers finished second overall and first in the class for petrol-engined 4×4 vehicles in the 2013 Dakar Rally.  Driving a South African-built Toyota Hilux in the all-South African Imperial Toyota team’s second attempt at the world’s longest and toughest motor race, the former SA touring car and off road champion and 2009 Dakar Rally winner scored his fifth Dakar podium in seven races. He followed this up with fourth overall and again first in the T1.1 class for petrol-powered four-wheel drive vehicles in the 2014 edition of the Dakar in Argentina and Chile in January. It was his 11th successive Dakar finish and his seventh top-four placing in the past nine Dakars. Hudson Kennaugh, South African Superbike (1000cc) champion in 2004, went to the UK after racing in South Africa for many years and last year won one of the most hotly contested motorcycle championships, the British Super Stocks. Cristiano Morgado won the DD2 Master class at the Rotax Max World Karting Finals. It was his fourth Rotax Max world class title since 2003. The entry of 72 included some of the best karters in the world, many of whom were national champions. Kelvin van der Linde, 17, already a karting champion and Volkswagen Cup champion, won the 2013 International VW Scirocco R-Cup against drivers from 24 countries.  He was the class of the field in this curtain-raiser series to the DTM (German Touring Car championship) and won five of the nine rounds, including the final round at Hockenheimring from fifth on the grid. He was also chosen to attend the elite FIA Institute Young Drivers Excellence Academy as Africa’s representative. Riaan van Niekerk rode a factory Broadlink KTM 450 Rally machine to 13th overall in the bike general classification on his debut appearance in the Dakar Rally in Peru, Argentina and Chile in January 2013. After 14 special stages totalling a 4 100 kilometres and more than 44 hours on the bike, he was one of 125 riders out of an original start list of 196 who successfully completed the world’s longest and toughest motor race. He followed this up with 12th overall in the 2014 Dakar in January, at 9 500 kilometres through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, the longest, highest and toughest South American version of the event yet. Only 78 of the original 184 motorcyles survived the 14-day 13-stage event. Wade Young,17, became theyoungest competitor to win a national enduro motorcycle championship when he took the honours in the E2 (200 cc) class in 2013 with victories in three of the six rounds. He finished second in class C1 and claimed a gold medal in the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Italy – 650 of the world’s best enduro riders competing for six consecutive days and completing 250 kilometres of tough enduro specials a day. He was 11th in his first attempt at the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria, one of the five toughest extreme enduro events in the world; 500 riders started the race and only 14 managed to finish. He was eighth in his first attempt in another of the world’s five toughest enduro races, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania. Only 21 riders made it to the finish after five days of extreme enduro racing.   Colin Watling award: Richard Schilling, as President of the South African Cross Country Racing Commission, and his team are responsible for one of the most successful forms of national motorsport and have helped put South Africa on the world map of this form of racing. Already one of our events, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana, is linked to the Dakar Rally and forms part of the global Dakar Challenge series. A past national cross country champion, Schilling was appointed to head up the FIA Cross Country Racing Commission in December. Beaulah Schoeman is undoubtedlyTHE most remarkable woman in SA motorsport who is still doing it for motorsport. She started her career in motorsport at the Sports Car Club in 1966 as Secretary to Dave Clapham and then John Salters. She later joined AA Motorsport as Assistant GM and later became the MD of MSA.   She has given her life to South African motorsport.  She was the first women to serve on the FIM Management committee and is a permanent member of the Executive Board of the FIM and is still Ends

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