Two of the powerhouses of South African motorsport have joined forces for the 2013 national motorsport championship season. Volkswagen and Sasol have announced a partnership which will form one of the most formidable collaborations in the national rally championship.
“Our partnership with Sasol heralds the dawn of the new era of Volkswagen’s involvement in motorsport in South Africa. In Sasol, we have a partner that is very passionate about motorsport just as we are at Volkswagen,” says David Powels, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.
“Volkswagen Group is now fully involved in the world of rallying and recently we finished second in our debut World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo. Volkswagen South Africa has benefitted from the Group’s involvement in rallying and we have also forged strong relationships with German colleagues over the past 12 months. We are confident that this relationship will serve our team well in the 2013 rally championship in South Africa”, adds Powels.
This season will see the Volkswagen Sasolracing team field three S2000 entries and a S2000 Challenge entry in the eight round national championship. The Volkswagen Sasolracing rally cars will feature a newly designed livery from 2013, reflecting the partnership between the two companies.
“Sasol and Volkswagen’s partnership will make for an exciting season,” says Alan Cameron, Managing Director of Sasol Oil. “The partnership is a strong strategic fit, leveraging the two leading companies’ respective product innovation and technical superiority capabilities. This association will be beneficial for both companies and for the fans who will witness exhilarating performance. It will also create an experiential platform for our customers to engage and connect with the Sasol brand through our products. ”
“Sasol is the only fuel and oil company in South Africa with the technical expertise to undertake world-class research and development. This allows us to incorporate our motor racing partners into our research and development programmes on fuels and lubricants,” adds Cameron.
The Volkswagen Sasolracing rally team driver line-up will feature Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson as well as Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries. They will be joined by Henk Lategan and Barry White in the third Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000.
Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin will put the Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo Vivo through its paces in the S2000 Challenge category – the category they won in its inaugural season last year.
Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport says, “Our team is enthusiastic about the coming rally season and is looking forward to competing in Sasol colours. The championship this year is going to be exciting and highly entertaining.”
KwaZulu-Natal hosts the first round of the season on Friday and Saturday, 8 and 9 March. At this event competitors will once again brave the narrow sugar cane roads which offer limited visibility and very little grip.
The collaboration between Volkswagen and Sasol, two companies with a proven passion and enthusiasm for South African motorsport – and both with a determination to win – is going to make for a dynamite combination in 2013. This could make the coming season one of the most exciting to date.