Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone backs a champion in junior motorcross

Feb 06, 2012


Dirco van der Westhuizen, the 2011 South African MX85 motocross champion, moves up to the more senior Pro Mini class this year and will again enjoy sponsorship from Bridgestone South Africa.

The 13-year-old head boy of Gert Maritz Primary School in Pietermaritzburg will contest the class for riders aged between 12 and 15 on a Portable Shade Honda CRF150R with backing from Bridgestone and Supa Quick. His main competition will come from his new team-mate, 2011 Pro Mini champion, Tristan Purdon, 14, and Bradley Cox, 14, who finished third in the championship on a KTM, one place ahead of Van der Westhuizen.

"I'm very excited about stepping up to the Pro Mini class and being part of a professional team like Portable Shade Honda," said Van der Westhuizen. "Thanks to Bridgestone, who together with my dad have supported me in my motocross career so far and provided me with awesome tyres, I had a pretty good year last year and can now take my career to the next level."

A ‘pretty good year' is something of an understatement as Dirco, who celebrated his 13th birthday on January 3, dominated the MX85 class for riders aged between 8 and 12 on his Bridgestone-shod two-stroke Yamaha YZ85, winning 10 out of 12 races.

Van der Westhuizen also contested the Pro Mini class last year to prepare himself for this more senior category in 2012 and impressed fans and competitors alike by taking fourth place overall at the end of the season behind experienced older riders Purdon, Cox and Zane Farquharson, who was runner-up to Purdon.

"Bridgestone South Africa's motor sport strategy is not only to demonstrate the performance of our products under extreme conditions, but also to put something back into the sport by way of supporting young, up-and-coming competitors at grassroots levels," said Bridgestone's GM of marketing, Tony Burns. "Dirco has repaid our faith in him handsomely and we are pleased to be able to help him take his career to the next level."

In preparation for the opening round of the national championship season, at Sun City on February 11, Van der Westhuizen has already chalked up his first win in the Pro Mini class, riding an old four-stroke Honda 150 in a regional event at the Dirt Bronco circuit in Krugersdorp on January 28. He has now received his new bike and will be getting in as much practice as he can ahead of the season-opener at Sun City.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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