Bridgestone South Africa

Motorsportsman of the Year announced

Feb 26, 2009

Tyla Rattray, who became the third South African in 16 years to win a motocross world championship, taking the hotly contested MX2 title in 2008 in a season that included a round in Nelspruit, South Africa, is the 2008 Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists Motor Sportsman of the Year.

The 22-year-old from Durban joins Greg Albertyn (1992 and 1993 Motor Sportsman of the Year) and Grant Langston (2000 Motor Sportsman of the Year) as the only South Africans to win world motocross championships.

Three other motor sportsmen were nominated for the prestigious award, which was first won in 1964 and has been sponsored by Bridgestone for the past 16 years. They were Hennie Groenewald, winner of the WesBank V8 Supercars championship for the third year in succession; Graeme Nathan, overall Bridgestone Production Car Champion in a class B SEAT Leon Cupra; and Leeroy Poulter, who won both the European Rotax Max Challenge DD2 championship and the Rotax Max Challenge DD2 World Final at La Conca in Italy.

Winner of the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motor sport by someone other than a competitor was Roger McCleery, doyen of South Africa's motor sport commentators and radio motoring presenters, for his long and tireless contribution to local motor racing. To most South African fans he is the voice of local motor racing and his always-enthusiastic delivery makes him a great ambassador for the sport.

Also nominated for the Colin Watling Award were Brian Cook, the driving force behind the long-running WesBank V8 championship for 25 years; Neil Curtis of The Kart Shoppe, a former kart racer, for his contribution to the development of karting in South Africa; and the Kyalami Marshals" Association, whose members not only voluntarily perform their duties at Kyalami but also at motor sport events around the country.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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