The celebrity and corporate challenge, brought to you courtesy of the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship, Donaldson Filtration Systems and Red-Lined Motorsport takes on a new look in 2016.
High profile sports personalities, celebrities from the entertainment and media fields and corporate guests will all get a taste of national cross country motor racing during the year. Corporate guest appearances will be rotated with the various personalities in a move seen as the ideal opportunity to expose cross country motor racing to a wider and distinct audience.
“We see this as a valuable marketing exercise to expose our sport to an influential commercial base,” said SANORA marketing executive Terence Marsh. “It also offers us the opportunity to put a different slant on corporate interaction.
“Our stakeholders get to host important clients and business associates against a backdrop that exposes them to the adventure and excitement of cross country motor racing. On top of that sports personalities and celebrities from the entertainment and media worlds also offer a pool of talent that we are keen to exploit.”
Celebrities are given the opportunity to co-drive for Marsh, a former South African champion, in a Red-Lined Motorsport Nissan Navara running in the FIA Class in the Production Vehicle category. The cars are state of the art and the emphasis is on team work inside the cockpit ÔÇô with a little bit of adrenalin to get the pulses racing.
Driver and co-driver must be on the same page and the first corporate celebrity in the hot seat next to Marsh was Dirk Hefer, a Donaldson priority client, who described the experience as the opportunity of a lifetime. After overcoming his initial trepidations Hefer rose to the challenge, and the pair were rewarded with third place overall in the FIA Class.
Next up is Carte Blanche anchor and presenter Derek Watts who is no stranger to motor racing, and competed in a series of races that featured Toyota Tazz models at the old Kyalami race track. But this time around the assignment is a different kettle of fish ÔÇô the iconic Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race.
The race this year is from June 24 to 26, and is made up of a 100 kilometre qualifying event and two heats of approximately 400 kilometres each. It is a gruelling event and Watts is in for a busy time over the next couple of weeks.
“We have lined up a pretty busy schedule for Derek,” said Marsh. “We want to give him as much seat time as possible, and a crash course in navigation is also on the agenda.
“You could say he is in for a busy time in his life between now and the race.”
Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point will again be located at the Jwaneng Sports Club and the adjoining showground facility. Public access to these areas will be controlled, but there is free entry into spectator viewing points along the route.
The qualifying race on Friday, June 24 to determine grid positions will start at 10:30. Heats one and two on Saturday and Sunday June 25 and 26 will start at 08:30 with a compulsory 20 minute stop after the first of each loop.