SA honours Dakar hero Giniel

2013-02-27 09:18

South African Dakar hero Giniel de Villiers has been named 2012 SA Motor Sportsman of the Year - and his team boss was honoured, too.

The award is judged by members of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists.

Driving a South African-built Toyota Hilux, the SA Touring Car and Off-Road champion and 2009 Dakar Rally winner scored his fourth Dakar podium in four races in January 2012 (he was also second in 2013). De Villiers has completed each of the now 10 Dakars in which he has competed.


The five other nominations for the prestigious award were:

• Darryl Curtis, a multiple Off-Road and Enduro motorcycle champion, finished 22nd  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 VW Cup and senior circuit racing National champion.

• Duncan Vos and Rob Howie won the South African Off-Road championship for  Toyota in a Hilux and were 10th overall in the 2012 Dakar Rally at their first attempt.

• Wade Young beat 400 top international and South African riders to become, at 16, the youngest winner of the 2012 Lesotho Roof of Africa, an event known as one of the  toughest in the world. He also won a silver medal in the international Motorcycling Federation's International Six-Day Enduro.


Glyn Hall, leader of the Toyota team which won the SA Off-Road Drivers’, Co-drivers’ and Manufacturers’ championships, earned the Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motor sport.

Also nominated for the Colin Watling Award was Clare Vale, racing driver and chairperson of the Women in Road Safety Forum, an organisation she founded in 2011. Vale's group is a gathering of influential women in motoring dedicated to highlighting the need for road safety.

Who would you have nominated for SA Motor Sportsman 2012? Would you like to comment on any of SA's 2012 winners? <i><a href="mailto: feedback@wheels24.co.za">Email us </a>and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...</i><br>