Bridgestone South Africa

Giniel de Villiers wins Motor Sportsman of the Year

Feb 19, 2007


Giniel de Villiers, second overall in a works VW Touareg in the 2006 Dakar Rally, is the 2006 Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists Motor Sportsman of the Year.

De Villiers, four times SA touring car champion and also a former national off road car racing champion, has been honoured by the country's motoring journalism fraternity for his outstanding achievement in the world's toughest off road race.

After competing in four Dakar Rallies, three times for Nissan (he was fifth in 2003, seventh in 2004 and fourth in 2005 " each time in South African-built Nissan Hardbody pickup) and twice for VW, he is considered one of the world's top desert racers. Last year he also won two rounds of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, the Rally of Morocco and the Rally of Portugal.

Merit awards were received by Alfie Cox (national off road champion in a special vehicle), Hannes Grobler (national off road champion in a production vehicle), Wesleigh Orr (a double category winner at the European Rotax Max Karting Challenge), Adrian Zaugg (runner-up in the Italian Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and winner of the Netherlands round of the 2006/2007 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport), Leeroy Poulter (national circuit racing champion in a production car), Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson (national rally champions) and Brian Capper (national SuperMoto motorcycle champion).

Winner of the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motor sport by someone other than a competitor was Danie van Jaarsveld, honoured for his achievements and contribution as a motor sport photographer. Through his website,, he makes his images available to countless publications and journalists, enabling enthusiasts to relive the excitement of special motor sport moments.

Merit awards were received by Glyn Hall (general manager of Nissan Motorsport), Wammy Haddad (manager of Toyota's motor sport department) and Ms Dana Cooper (CEO of A1 Team South Africa and chief organiser of the A1GP street races in Durban).

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Bridgestone South Africa

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