Kodak Becomes Primary Sponsor of Rolex 24-Winning Grand American Race Car for 2004 FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 24 - Eastman Kodak Company, Feeds the Need, Inc. and Bell Motorsports announced today that Kodak will continue its sponsorship of the Bell...
Kodak Becomes Primary Sponsor of Rolex 24-Winning Grand American Race Car for 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 24 - Eastman Kodak Company, Feeds the Need, Inc. and Bell Motorsports announced today that Kodak will continue its sponsorship of the Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 for the rest of the 2004 season in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series.
The team and drivers Terry Borcheller, Forest Barber, Andy Pilgrim and Christian Fittipaldi won the season's first Grand American Rolex Series race earlier this month at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the most prestigious endurance sports car race in North America. The race took place Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The car will be known as the Bell Motorsports Kodak Easyshare DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54 for the remaining 11 Grand American Rolex Series races this year. Kodak also sponsors the Penske-Jasper Racing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stock car team and driver Brendan Gaughan. That team, which debuted in this year's Daytona 500, competes on a 36-race series at speedways across the United States.
With its new alliance with the Bell Motorsports team, Kodak is backing the group that won the 2003 Grand American Daytona Prototype team championship and the 2003 Daytona Prototype driver champion, Borcheller.
Forest Barber of Fort Worth, who owns the Bell Motorsports car through his company, Feeds the Need, Inc., will again join Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., behind the wheel for most of the races this year. Their next race is the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. on Saturday.
The team's headquarters are in Miami.
All Rolex Series races are covered on cable TV's SPEED Channel.
Increased visibility: While Kodak has enjoyed a long relationship with NASCAR, this is its first foray into sports car racing. The Bell Motorsports car will carry KODAK EasyShare System logos similar to those on Gaughan's stock car.
"Kodak has had a long and rewarding relationship with NASCAR, and we are pleased to expand our race team program into endurance sports car racing through the Grand American Rolex Series and the Bell Motorsports team," said Bud Denker, director and vice president of brand and market development, Kodak. "We are very excited to be sponsoring the championship-winning team and driver from 2003, and we were thrilled when the team won the Rolex 24 in its first race carrying our colors.
"The sponsorship was a last-minute opportunity that was presented to Kodak by NASCAR's senior management right before the Rolex 24," Denker added.
Kodak is in its 19th year as an official NASCAR sponsor. Kodak will promote its digital photography products and services through its sponsorship. This includes Kodak EasyShare digital cameras and printer docks, and its Ofoto on-line photo fulfillment service found at www.ofoto.com.
"This relationship really is big news, not only for our team but also for the Grand American Rolex Series," said Barber. "I guess we'll have a lot of Kodak moments this year. Terry and I and our team owner, Jim Bell, look forward to the opportunities that will develop from this new relationship. We are proud to represent such a fine company."
"Motorsports has long been a favorite subject of photographers, and it seems only natural for us to expand our program into endurance sports car racing," Denker continued. "We have been in victory lane at the Daytona 500, and now we have been in victory lane at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in our very first Grand American race."
About the Grand American Rolex Series: In addition to its victory in the 2004 season opener, the Bell Motorsports team won half of all the Grand American Rolex Series races held last year. Those 2004 victories included the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona on July 4; the Grand American Champions Weekend at Daytona in November; and races in Birmingham, Ala.; Lexington, Ohio; Watkins Glen, N.Y.; and Alton, Va.