Super Cheap Auto's behind the Weel and the Bathurst 1000!
Bathurst 1000 naming rights for 2005, plus sponsoring PWR Racing
AUSTRALIA'S leading retailer of automotive parts, tools and accessories, Super Cheap Auto (ASX: SUL) today kick-started an exciting new foray into the world of V8 Supercars with the announcement of a dynamic two-car team and naming rights for the Bathurst 1000 in 2005.
The announcement, which sees the company join forces with PWR Racing and top V8 drivers Paul Weel and Greg Murphy, is one of the most significant in the company's racing history which dates back to 1995. PWR Racing will now be known as Super Cheap Auto Racing, and there's already speculation the team will be a Top 10 contender.
Super Cheap Auto Managing Director, Mr Bob Thorn, said PWR Racing provided the company with a tremendous opportunity to advance its profile in the V8 Supercar Series, and the naming rights for the Bathurst 1000 was icing on the cake and a dream realised.
"After the 2004 season finished, we decided we needed to be involved with a two-car team, and PWR Racing provides us with that opportunity," Mr Thorn said.
"The two drivers, Greg Murphy and Paul Weel, are outstanding and gifted drivers. We will start the 2005 V8 Supercar Series with the best chance we've ever had to win races and become a dominant force on the track."
Mr Thorn said the company's decision to pursue the naming rights sponsor at Bathurst was a natural, yet thrilling, extension of Super Cheap Auto's involvement in motorsport.
"Bathurst is an icon race, the biggest event on the V8 Supercar calendar, and one which the nation almost stops to watch like the Melbourne Cup. Our strong involvement will put the Super Cheap Auto brand in front of audiences around the world.
"It's a perfect match between us and our target audience, many of whom are motorsport enthusiasts, and I'm looking forward to seeing Super Cheap Auto Racing in action at Mt Panorama.
"With Murphy and Weel driving, and their previous successes at Bathurst, it could be a tremendous and emotional day for us on many levels."
Wayne Cattach, Chief Executive of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, praised the vision of Supercheap Auto in backing such an iconic Australian sporting event.
"This is a major step change for this iconic event, AVESCO and the event promoter AVESCO Events," Mr Cattach said.
"AVESCO Events has stepped up to the plate to promote the event for the next two decades, beginning in 2005. Now we have one of the country's most dynamic and influential retail chains pledging to take this event beyond anything we have seen before.
"Supercheap Auto has a natural synergy and relationship with Motorsport. And like the exponential growth experienced by V8 Supercars, Supercheap Auto has an unparalleled record in business and corporate Australia."
Murphy, 32, had his first full year in V8 Supercars in 1997 where he finished fourth in the overall standings. He has been racing for more than 10 years coming up through the development formula of karts, Formula Ford and Formula Holden, and twice won the New Zealand Gold Star Championship and the Jim Clark Memorial Trophy. Highlights of his career to date have been his win in the 1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 and finishing second in a Porsche at the Le Man 24 Hours the same year. In 2003 he also recorded the fastest lap ever at Bathurst in 2:07.9503.
Weel, 26, is a former two-wheel champion who left the sport after suffering wrist damage. Before his entry into V8s, he won the Australian Stadium Off Road Truck Championships in 1997 and 1998. In 1998, after switching sports, he won the V8 Supercar Series Rookie of the Year, and is tipped as a top 10 contender in 2005.
The return of Super Cheap Auto Racing to V8s with a new look and competitive advantage continues a momentous run for the company which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in July 2004. Super Cheap Auto has been one of the strongest performers on the ASX since its listing, and continues to aggressively drive store expansion across Australia and New Zealand, recently opening its 200th store, and employing more than 3,000 team members.