Bridgestone South Africa

Leeroy Poulter is Motor Sportsman of the Year

Feb 29, 2012
Leeroy Poulter

Leeroy Poulter

Kyalami Marshals

Kyalami Marshals

Leeroy Poulter, who burst into the top echelon of national championship rallying last year and ended the season as the top-seeded driver, last night received the Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists Motor Sportsman of the Year award for 2011 at a function in Johannesburg.

The 30-year-old, driving a factory Toyota Auris, won two rounds of last year's championship in his first season in the premier Super 2000 class and established himself as the consistently fastest special stage driver according to the driver seedings scoring system.

There were four other nominations for the prestigious award, which was first won in 1964 and has been sponsored by Bridgestone South Africa for the past 19 years. They were David MacFadden, who won the ultra competitive South African Supersport Championship in 2011 in only his second year of competition; Cristiano Morgado, who won the Master category in the Rotax Max World Karting Finals in Abu Dhabi; Sheridan Morais, who competed with distinction in the international FIM SuperStock 1000 Championship; and Michael Stephen, who added the Bridgestone Production Car Championship to the numerous titles he has won in karting and saloon cars.

Winner of the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motor sport by someone other than a competitor was the Kyalami Marshals' Association, a small core of volunteers who tirelessly support motor sport in a most thankless and unglamorous way. It is not only at Kyalami where they are active; the same people work at other circuits and on rallies and off road races, helping out where they can for no other reason than their dedication to motor sport.

Among four others nominated for the Colin Watling Award were Yoshyiaki Nakamura, CEO of Honda South Africa, who has promoted and supported the South African Motorcycle Riding Academy, a school that uses Honda's NSF100 for instruction and racing by youngsters of all races and genders from 8 to 13 years old; and Mike Rowe, motor sport manager of Volkswagen, who is responsible for the successful management of three separate national motor racing series supported by Volkswagen and whose dedication and enthusiasm has seen these categories grow and make a significant contribution to local motor racing.

Also nominated were Richard Schilling, who, as president of the Motorsport South Africa Off Road Car Racing Commission, has dedicated many hours to the successful management of off road racing, arguably South Africa's most successful non-circuit racing formula, and who also serves on the MSA Rally Commission and is a sporting member of the MSA National Court of Appeal; and Clare Vale, a racing driver who headed up MSA's Women in Motorsport initiative and has worked tirelessly to encourage women to race and to achieve the best results they can. She is a successful fundraiser for worthy causes and uses motor sport as a vehicle to achieve this.

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