Mpumulanga: Sponsor announced

Enthusiastic Toyota dealers in Mpumalanga to sponsor Bankfin Off-Road Racing Championship race. The enthusiastic Toyota dealers in Mpumalanga are to sponsor the fifth race in the 2002 Bankfin Off-Road Championship. The event is to be known as...

Enthusiastic Toyota dealers in Mpumalanga to sponsor Bankfin Off-Road Racing Championship race.

The enthusiastic Toyota dealers in Mpumalanga are to sponsor the fifth race in the 2002 Bankfin Off-Road Championship. The event is to be known as the Toyota Dealer 400 and takes place on August 23 and 24.

The event will be based at White River, with forest sections making up most of the route. This is a new event on the calendar and the first time a national championship off-road race has been run in this area.

"We have seen the enthusiasm of the local communities for the annual Sasol Rally that is run in this area and we are sure the Toyota Dealer 400 will prove just as popular," said Alla Engelbrecht, Dealer Principal of NTT Toyota in White River.

"Toyota is the only South African vehicle manufacturer or distributor to field factory teams in the national off-road, circuit racing and rally championships and having the dealers sponsor the off-road race in Mpumalanga strengthens Toyota's ties with the off-road fraternity," commented Dick Hattingh, Chairman of the Northern and Eastern Regional Toyota Dealer Council.

"We have a strong dealer network in the Mpumalanga region, where models in our Hilux and Land Cruiser ranges are top sellers and we see the event as an ideal opportunity to build awareness of these brands in an important marketplace and to increase goodwill with the local community".

Motorsport SA Off-Road Car Racing Commission president, Piet Swanepoel, said the decision by the Toyota dealers in Mpumalanga to support the event was a further indication of the prestige which is now associated with the Bankfin Off-Road Championship. "Over the past couple of seasons the series has emerged as the jewel in the South African motor sport crown," said Swanepoel.

Swanepoel added that the route would be dominated by forest stages that are not often found on off-road racing routes. "In the past the Mpumalanga forests have been regarded as rally territory," Swanepoel said.

"A route of this nature provides something different for off-road competitors. It is going to be an eye-opener for those competitors who do not have previous rally experience. The route will also be spectator-friendly for the motor sport enthusiasts of Mpumalanga, many of whom will be having their first taste of this top category of off-road racing."

-msa-

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