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Motorsportsman of the Year announced

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IOL mot pic feb27 Giniel de Villiers 1

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Giniel de Villiers finished third overall and first in the class for petrol-engined 4x4 vehicles in the 2012 Dakar Rally.

Giniel de Villiers is the 2012 Bridgestone/Guild of Motoring Journalists Motorsportsman of the Year.

The former SA Touring Car and Off-Road champion, and 2009 Dakar Rally winner, finished third overall and first in the class for petrol-engined 4x4 vehicles in the 2012 Dakar Rally in a South African-built Toyota Hilux. It was his fourth Dakar podium in five races and his 10th finish in as many starts.

There were five other nominations for the award, which was inaugurated in 1964.

Darryl Curtis, multiple former off-road and enduro motorcycle champion, who finished a remarkable 22nd out of less than 100 finishers in the 2012 Dakar Rally in South America at his first attempt.

Kelvin van der Linde won the Volkswagen Cup in his first year of senior circuit racing to become the youngest SA circuit-racing national champion in the sport's history.

Duncan Vos and Rob Howie won the SA Off-Road championship in a Toyota Hilux and were also 10th overall in the Dakar Rally at their first attempt.

IOL mot pic feb27 Wade Young 1

Sixteen-year-old Wade Young beat 400 top international and South African riders to become the youngest winner in the history of the Roof of Africa Enduro.

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Wade Young beat 400 top international and South African riders to become the youngest winner in the history of the Roof of Africa Enduro in Lesotho, an event that has the reputation of being one of the toughest of its kind in the world. He also won a silver medal for South Africa in the International Six Day Enduro.

Winner of the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motorsport by somebody other than a competitor was Glyn Hall, leader of the works Toyota team who won the SA Off-Road Drivers', Navigators' and Manufacturers' championships, finished second in the SA Rally championship, and third and 10th in the Dakar Rally in Toyota Hilux 4x4s built by the team in their Johannesburg workshop.

Also nominated for the Colin Watling Award was Clare Vale, a racing driver who is chairperson of the Women in Road Safety Forum, an organisation she founded in 2011. It is a gathering of influential and powerful women in motoring dedicated to highlighting the need for more to be done in promoting road safety.


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