2005 Awards dinner summary

UNIQUE DOUBLE FOR KOEPEL CLUB The Koepel Club scored a unique double at the recent Absa Off Road Championship awards dinner. The club won the award for the best organised event of the 2005 championship, the Ford Motorite 400 in Limpopo, and...

UNIQUE DOUBLE FOR KOEPEL CLUB

The Koepel Club scored a unique double at the recent Absa Off Road Championship awards dinner.

The club won the award for the best organised event of the 2005 championship, the Ford Motorite 400 in Limpopo, and club chairman Willie Prinsloo won the 'Spirit of Off Road Racing' award. Prinsloo is a co-founder and long standing chairman of the club, which was started in the early 1980s in the Northern Cape/Free State region.

Over the years the club gradually moved headquarters and, as membership started to grow, found a home on the East Rand. The club now boasts a membership that includes around two thirds of the off road fraternity in South Africa, organises a number of club and regional events and two national championship events in the Ford Motorite 400 and the popular Carnival City 400.

Prinsloo, born in Vereeniging and raised in Harare in Zimbabwe, started racing at an early age. At national level he has raced quads, motorcycles and cars but in recent years his competitive outings have been restricted through his commitment to the club as an organiser, and to running a busy automotive business in Kempton Park.

On the organising front Prinsloo's 'right hand man' has been wife Lynn. She has been heavily involved in the running of Koepel since its inception, with the pair putting in hours of work behind the scenes.

What made the Ford Motorite 400 award all the more special for Prinsloo and the club, is the fact that it was a new event on last year's off road calendar. The event broke new ground in that it was the first time the off road fraternity ventured into Limpopo Province.

It was also the second time in three years that Koepel took the award for best event of the year. The club previously won the award via the Carnival City 400.

"The Limpopo event, because we were breaking new ground, really tested our mettle," said Prinsloo. "Being voted best event of the year is an honour of which Lynn, myself and the club are deeply proud.

"A great many people also put in a lot of work behind the scenes, and it is as much their award as it is ours. Off road racing is a passion for Lynn and I, and we are grateful that there are so many lifelong friends within the off road community who share our love of the sport.

"Winning the 'Spirit of Off Road Racing' award is something I will always cherish."

Organising awards also went to Toyota and race organiser Willie du Plessis and the South African Motorsport Club for the Toyota Dealer 1000. The event was observed by the FIA, the world controlling body for motorsport, and granted a place on the FIA Cross Country World Cup calendar this year.

Veterans Hannes Grobler and Francois Jordaan, from the Proudly South African Nissan squad, won the Milestone Award for finishing every event last season, with Evan Hutchison and Trevor Ormerod taking the 'Highest Placed Newcomer' award. The pair won Class B in their first season in off road racing.

A rose among the thorns in the awards was KwaZulu-Natal competitor Marcelle Trethewey. She took the 'Highest Placed Lady' award after winning the Special vehicle category with Clint Gibson on the Toyota Dealer 1000.

-msa-

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