Series sponsor for SAORC announced

Bankfin to sponsor the South African Off-Road Championship In a major coup the MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission has entered into a long-term sponsorship agreement with Bankfin. The SA Off Road Car Racing Championship will now be known as the...

Bankfin to sponsor the South African Off-Road Championship

In a major coup the MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission has entered into a long-term sponsorship agreement with Bankfin.

The SA Off Road Car Racing Championship will now be known as the Bankfin Off-Road Championship. At the same time the Commission and Bankfin have brokered a marketing partnership with Ford, Nissan and Toyota to ensure maximum exposure for the national championship.

MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel said the agreement with Bankfin and the three manufacturers, was the biggest boost for off-road racing in recent years. "It is a highly significant development in terms of both off-road racing and motorsport in this country," said Swanepoel.

"The agreement safeguards the future growth of off-road racing with privateers, who make up 90 percent of entries, major benefactors. Following their involvement in Touring Car racing Bankfin was a much sought after sponsor, and we are delighted to see them back in the mainstream of South African motorsport.

"It is a feather in the off-road cap that Bankfin should decide to return to motorsport with a series that in recent seasons has gone from strength to strength. The commitment shown by Ford, Nissan and Toyota had also played a leading role in off-road racing's resurgence."

Swanepoel added that additional benefits for competitors would come by way of guaranteed terrestrial and satellite television coverage. Professional marketing of the series by Performance Plus Marketing would also increase awareness for the championship and all participants

Bankfin Managing Executive, Peter Mageza said the Bankfin Off Road Championship filled a void in the company's marketing strategy. He added that the sport met the criteria Bankfin were looking for in terms of a long term commitment with South African motor racing.

"Since our withdrawal from the Touring Car championship, we have closely monitored motorsport developments," Mageza said. "A strong manufacturer representation, increased fields and spectator involvement and professional marketing all combine to produce a package with which we can identify."

"The agreement with the MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission and the manufacturers, provides us with an opportunity to expand our activities and build awareness in a hugely important segment of the South African vehicle market."

Mike Whitfield, Executive Vice President of Nissan South Africa, said Bankfin's sponsorship provided major opportunities for the stability and growth of South African off-road racing. "Bankfin displayed a hands on approach to their Touring Car sponsorship, and the agreement offers the potential for enormous future growth, particularly where privateers are concerned," he said.

Craig von Essen, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Ford, said the agreement with Bankfin was an exciting and positive development, opening new doors for South African off-road racing while Francois Loubser, Director: Marketing Communications of Toyota South Africa, said the championship stood on the threshold of a new era. "Toyota has had a long association both with Bankfin and the national off-road series," he said.

"We are delighted to be part of an ambitious plan that will take off-road racing in this country to new heights."

The opening round of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship will be the Barberspan 500 in North West Province on March 22 and 23. The championship this year boasts new classes in the Production and Special Vehicle categories and new rules and regulations, which bring it into line with the FIA Cross-Country Rally Championship.

-msa-

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Series Automotive , Other rally