PROFILE: LEEROY POULTER
Aged 31, Leeroy Poulter has crammed an amazing 26 years of active motor sport experience into his life. His motor sport experience began on two wheels in age-group motocross championships in 1986.
He won his first national championship in this series in 1987, just his second year of competition, and went on to win another four championships in the following six years. Following on this success he graduated to Karting in 1994.
As with his career in motocross he quickly established himself as a dominant competitor in karting and won both regional and national karting championships in the 100cc Stock class in 1996. Following this success Leeroy was invited to join Opel Motorsport to drive a Corsa in the Group N Championship. The youngest competitor in the series, he finished third overall in the championship and was voted Rookie of the Year.
In 1998 parallel competition in Group N and karting saw Leeroy win regional and national championships in the 125 Promo Kart class and achieved second place in Class C of the Stannic Group N Championship. The following year he moved up a class in Group N and came fourth and again won Regional and National Karting Championships, this time in the 125cc GP class.
The transition into the 21st century saw Leeroy win his first Group N Championship in Class D of the Midas series. He contested the highly competitive Rotax Max World Karting Final in Puerto Rico in 2000 and came second overall. He repeated his Group N Championship win in Class D in 2001 and went on to win the 2002 Rotax Max National Karting Championship.
The 125cc Rok National Karting Championship as well as a Regional Championship in the class was added to his Karting successes in 2005 and he completed the year as runner up in the Rok World Karting Final held in Italy that year. The following year he won the Bridgestone Production Car Championship while still remaining active in Karting.
Further success came in Karting with the Rotax DD2 South African Championship in 2007 and the European and World Championships in this class in 2008. His success in local and overseas competition caught the eye of the South African A1 GP team and he was given an opportunity to test as a Rookie for the team.
In 2009 Leeroy added Off-Road racing to his CV and was placed fourth in Class E of the Production Vehicle category. For 2010 he moved across to the Sasol National Rally Championship to contest Class A6 in a Toyota RunX. Such was his success in the Run X that he was able to secure the Class Championship with two rounds of the Championship still to run.
Following that success Leeroy moved up to the top S2000 class in a Castrol Team Toyota Auris S2000 for the remaining two events in the 2010 Sasol South African Rally Championship.
In his debut S2000 appearance in the Swartland Rally Leeroy finished in an encouraging 9th place. He followed this up with a third place in the Toyota Gauteng Rally, his second event in the top class and the final round of the 2010 season.
With Elvene Coetzee reading the route notes for him in 2011, he enjoyed a memorable first full season in the top class by winning two rounds of the championship and many special stages. At the end of the season he had the distinction of being seeded number one among all the drivers.
He and Elvene return to contest the 2012 season together in an S2000 Castrol Toyota Auris and it would be a foolish punter to bet against their coming close to winning the title.