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South Africa’s talented sportsmen and women honoured at MSA Gala Awards

“Despite all the challenges facing the country, last year was an exceptional year for local motorsport, and we thank every contributor, whether behind the wheel or handlebars, on the track or in the background, for keeping motorsport great,” Anton Roux said.

The who’s who in the motorsport world gathered to pay tribute to South Africa’s finest motorsport champions at the annual Motorsport South Africa (MSA) 2022 Gala Awards held at the Thaba Eco Hotel on February 5.

As in previous years, this was an illustrious gathering of the best in motorsport celebrating excellence on two wheels and four on tarmac and gravel. MSA paid tribute to the veterans, newcomers and icons who brought their fans all the thrills and spills of motorsport last year from the track to Dakar.

Anton Roux, the chairman of MSA, opened the proceedings by stating that there were 810 events with 60 226 participants since MSA’s national awards in December 2019.

“Motorsport in SA is showing an encouraging post-Covid recovery. The competitors here tonight represent the pinnacle of these events,” he said.

Roux paid special tribute to the spouses, parents and guardians.

“Motorsport is a team sport and I thank each of you for your commitment to our sport.

“Fifty-two champions received awards, 30 Protea colours were awarded, eight special awards were given out and five golden helmet awards were celebrated.”

In addition, awards for Photographer of the Year and Environmental Project of the Year were given to recipients aged between six and 70. Both two- and four-wheeled vehicle manufacturers, who play a pivotal role and make a huge contribution to motorsport, are equally important.

It was an honour to recognise so many top brands this year. The champions category, which recognises motorsport’s future talent, was again well looked after, with the champions of school-going age receiving their spoils for performances in the enduro, motocross and karting disciplines.

Exceptional achievements

Roux said MSA’s highest form of recognition, the Golden Helmet Award, is bestowed on individuals for exceptional achievements in, or contributions to, motorsport over several decades.

“Previous recipients include SA motorsport legends Geoff Mortimer and Ben Morgenrood. This year we were proud to give the award to four recipients – Charmaine Fortune, Ian Topliss, Robert Marle and Tjaart Joubert.

“Charmaine has been involved in motorsport almost her whole life and was integrally involved in public relations and marketing for various teams and organisations on and off the circuit.

“Ian’s accomplishments in motocross are exceptional, having won 11 SA Championships, many regional championships and the FIM Africa Championships. He has also represented SA at international events. Although he retired in 2021, he is still an avid track supporter and mentor to many.

“Robert, affectionately known as ‘Bob’, has a 61-year history as an official in motorsport. It is almost impossible to list the many achievements in his illustrious career.

“Some highlights include serving on the MSA Western Cape Regional Committee for seven years and the Western Cape Rally Sub-Committee since MSA was on the Foreshore. His assistance with the organisation of rallies has proven critical in allowing the Western Cape Rally Championship to not only survive but flourish. MSA acknowledges Bob’s hours of training and assistance to anyone competing or other officials.

“Finally, Tjaart has been a servant of SA motorsport for 26 years and is the heart and soul of Formula M racing. He was selected as club chairman in 2000 and was re-elected 22 times. Although his involvement in motor racing has centred on single-seater racing, he has taken on other motorsport roles, including scrutineer, assistant clerk of the course at Rustenburg Oval and club steward at Zwartkops Raceway.”

On the international stage

Roux said eight members of the SA motorsport community received MSA Special Awards for outstanding feats on the international stage or in recognition of their contribution to the sport.

“We were excited to hand over 30 Protea colours blazers. This is the highest accolade that can be achieved in SA motorsport and is associated with noteworthy performances by local competitors against international competition. The recipients needed to meet rigorous nomination criteria, and we applaud them on their achievements,” said Roux.

He added that a highlight of the evening was awarding the talent behind the lens that captured the stand-out photo of the year.

The Steve Wicks Motorsport Photographer of the Year, named after the well-known late motorsport photographer, is voted for by members of the motorsport community. The winning photographer receives the floating trophy for an image that best encapsulates the drama, spectacle, and action motorsport provides. This year’s winner was Frikkie Stroh from Gauteng.

“Finally, the Environmental Project of the Year was awarded to the MSA MX Junior team, which won the FIM’s Ride Green environmental award in Finland last year.

“Despite all the challenges facing the country, last year was an exceptional year for local motorsport and we thank every contributor, whether behind the wheel or handlebars, on the track or in the background, for keeping motorsport great. We thank all of our competitors, their families, teams, sponsors, event organisers, promoters, race officials, volunteers and members of the media without which motorsport and the declaration of champions would not be possible,” concluded Roux.

The 2022 Protea Senior Colours category.
The SA National Kid Rok Karting Champion winner, Tshepang Shisinwana.
The 2022 SA National Rally Raid awardees.
Kriya Grangiah.
The 2022 Karting MSA National Champions: Joshua Coertze, Klayden Cole, Ensor Smith, Jack Moore and Garth Waberski (the chairman of KMG).
Anton Roux, the chairman of MSA.
The 2022 Protea Junior colours category.
Cathy and Rob Jackson.
Davin Botha and Jacqui Moloi.
Franziska Brandl (KTM), Dean Wheeler, Cameron Durow, Neville Townsend (Chairman MX Commission), Luke Grundy, Trey Cox, Evan Frost, Lou Rademeyer.
The 2022 SA National Cross Country Motorcycle contestants: Kyle Enslin, Franziska Brandl (KTM), Brett Swanepoel, Dylan Jones, Damon Garrell, James Moore and Luke Walker.
Chantel Frost and Charlotte Retief.
James and Richard Moore.
Wian, Lenatha and Wynand Wentzel.
Micheal and Jamie Pentecost.
The 2022 SA National Rally Champion: Vic Maharaj, the MSA sporting service manager, and Chris Coertse.

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