Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone supports local Motorsport

Jan 01, 2005

Regional and national championship kart racing, which came of age last year as a motor racing category with a brand new marketing strategy and sponsored television coverage of regional and national events, will again enjoy substantial television coverage this year thanks to the continued support of Bridgestone and Autoquip.

The first televised event in the Bridgestone Autoquip Power Kart series is the regional championship Port Alfred street race in the Eastern Cape on March 20 and 21.

There will be television coverage of five regional rounds, to be held in the Eastern Cape (2), Kwazulu Natal, Free State and Gauteng, and four nationals, in the Western Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng. In addition, the finals of the Rotax Max Challenge at the Bridgestone Zwartkops International Kart Raceway in Gauteng will be televised. This year the Rotax Max Challenge enjoys national championship status.

"Last year, with the assistance of Bridgestone and Autoquip, we made a concerted marketing effort to bring public exposure to karting up to the same level as the 'senior" circuit racing disciplines. This included national television coverage and resulted in encouraging growth in the number of competitor entries received," says Motorsport South Africa's karting commission president, Gavin Orbell.

"We are very grateful to Bridgestone and Autoquip for their generous support.

"By reviving a strong regional series and televising both regional and national races last year, as well as the Rotax Max Challenge finals, increased numbers of competitors were attracted to karting and the sport grew nationally.

"With the 2004 Bridgestone Autoquip Power Kart series again enjoying substantial television coverage, we will be able to continue to showcase this important "nursery" formula for racing drivers. Karters graduate to the more senior circuit racing formulas and also to other formulas like rallying and off-road racing."

Bridgestone has been a supporter of motor sport in South Africa for many years and continues to believe in its value as a marketing tool, according to the company's vice-president of sales and marketing, Shaun Wustmann.

"Kart racing is the nursery of motor sport and an important development category, providing opportunities for aspirant racing drivers, particularly from previously disadvantaged communities," adds Wustmann. "In addition to supplying Bridgestone racing tyres imported from Japan and available from Autoquip, we are also supporters of the Mercedes Benz development team.

"We have enjoyed considerable success with our involvement with Production Car racing in South Africa, where we have been the sole tyre supplier for the past five years with our Firestone Firehawk and S211 brand. This year we are again the preferred tyre brand and are providing, through Autoquip, Bridgestone Potenza tyres for the new three-class series.

"We are also one of the two specified tyre brands for the national rally championship.

"Our continued involvement with karting is particularly pleasing as this is where many racing drivers start their careers, at a very early age. It's also where the sport's development programme starts and we"re happy to be able to contribute to the growth of the sport," says Wustmann.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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