Bridgestone South Africa

Ralph Pitchford wins Motor Sportsman of the Year

Feb 28, 2011

Ralph Pitchford, who was the highest-placed South African in last year's Dakar Rally when he navigated American Mark Miller to third place in a factory Volkswagen Race Touareg, is the 2010 Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists Motor Sportsman of the Year.

The 49-year-old former national off road motorcycle and production car co-driver champion was competing in his fourth Dakar Rally and is regarded as one of the world's best ultra marathon off road navigators.

There were five other nominations for the prestigious award, which was first won in 1964 and has been sponsored by Bridgestone for the past 18 years. They were Jade Gutzeit, who won the national off road motorcycle championship and excelled in the World Xtreme Enduro Championship; Wesleigh Orr , who won the Super Rok category in the international Rok world karting championship in Italy; Leeroy Poulter, who won the national rally championship class A6 title at his first attempt, which earned him a works Toyota drive in the top S2000 class; Ronan Quarmby, who won the South African Supersport motorcycle championship and made three appearances in the World Superbike championship aboard a factory Ten Kate Honda; and Caleb Williams, who won the 2010 South African Rotax Max Challenge karting championship at the age of 17 and went on to take the top honours in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final in Italy;

Winner of the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motor sport by someone other than a competitor was Adrian Pheiffer, for his lifelong dedication to motor sport as a competitor, club official and motor sport journalist and, most recently, as the author of a significant book which chronicles the history of early Cape motor sport and specifically the half decade of the Killarney motor racing circuit, an institution with which he has been associated since its birth more than 50 years ago.

Also nominated for the Colin Watling Award was Ian Schofield, for his long-time support and sponsorship of Formula Ford in South Africa, which has seen the category grow into one of the most competitive in the country.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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