PRETORIA, South Africa – Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) today announced its sponsorship of the fifth round of the SA Rally Championship. The Ford Dealer Rally will take place on 16 and 17 August with Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant serving as the base for the event.
Proceedings will get underway on Friday at Ford’s Silverton facility, where the Ford Ranger is built and exported to 148 countries. On Saturday proceedings will move to the Cullinan area. Thanks to the compact nature of the event members of the public will enjoy a spectator friendly outing that is sure to attract the normal motor sport enthusiasts as well as many families and members of the community.
“With easy access from Johannesburg and Pretoria this event is one of the highlights of the calendar. There will be interaction with some of the local schools as well as a stage at the Mamelodi Plaza ensuring maximum community participation,” explains Ford Racing Manager John Nagel.
Ford has been involved in national championship racing since 2000, when the first Off Road vehicle made its debut. Since then Ford’s participation has grown from strength to strength with Ford now the only manufacturer participating in all three major national championship disciplines, namely: Cross Country, Circuit Racing and Rallying.
“Ford’s decision to sponsor the all-new Ford Dealer Rally is an important development for the National Rally Commission and for the sport in general,” adds Richard Leeke, Chairman of the National Rally Commission: “Ford has a long and distinguished record in South African motorsport and is one of our partners in the SA Rally Championship. We thank Ford for their continued and growing support of local motorsport and in particular rallying.”
Reigning South African National Rally Champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton currently lead the SA Rally Championship in their S2000 Ford Fiesta, while Jan Habig and Robert Paisley lie in second place in their Basil Read Fiesta S2000.
Both will be eager to ensure Ford obtains a victory in the Ford Dealer Rally.
“Racing is an integral part of Ford’s history and we are therefore excited to continue growing our involvement in the sport,” says Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa President and CEO Jeff Nemeth. “There is an enthusiastic motor racing culture in South Africa and this event aims to showcase the sport to the broader community. Similarly it is an opportunity to get our employees excited and emotionally involved by bringing the action right to our doorstep with the contestants setting off from the plant.”