MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

MRF new partner and tyre suppier to South African Rally Championship

The National Rally Championship steering committee has announced that from 2020 the championship will have a new tyre suppliers as well as a partner in the championship series. The Indian  tyre company, MRF Tyres, have come on board the championship as tyre supplier and partner.

The committee also announced changes in the championship classes that will differ from those of the past few years and will hopefully attract new competitors to the sport.

Gaurav Gill

The financial contribution MRF will make to the NRC will have a tremendous positive impact on the Rallies and the Championship as a whole. This new Partnership will also benefit the sport and competitors through improved marketing, publicity and media coverage which we will now be able to introduce.

New NRC Classes and a Championship for everybody

The committe can confirm the classes for 2020 will be a little different, but the big news is that all National Classes will be eligible to score in and ultimately to win the Overall National Rally Championship! There will also be Class Trophies up for grabs. This new format, is something that many competitors were asking for and we hope that this major step will motivate more people to return to the NRC in 2020 (for the final specifications per class as well as the Championship Scoring method, please refer to 2020 SSR’s which will be available soon).

The classes will also be renamed as follows:

• NRC1 – This will be for 4 Wheel Drive Cars and will include R4 (re-named “Rally 2 Kit” by FIA for 2020), S2000, N4 etc, but R5 cars will not be allowed for cost reasons. • NRC2 – The R2N cars will be in this class from 2020. • NRC3 – This Class will be for the new VW Vivo Cup Cars, which we need to grow into a successful development formula for the future. • NRC4 – For cars that previously competed in the Open 2 Class. • NRC5 – This will be for the “Classic Cars” and we would like to see more RWD’s back in 2020 please, we love the Sideways Action you provide, New Tyre Supplier and Series Partner
After using the same tyre brand in the NRC for over a decade, we have taken a very bold step forward by partnering with a new brand from 2020. The tyres will be distributed by their newly appointed distributor for motorsport tyres in Africa namely Motorsport Technic.

The financial contribution MRF will make to the NRC will have a tremendous positive impact on the Rallies and the Championship as a whole. This new Partnership will also benefit our sport and competitors through improved marketing, publicity and media coverage which we will now be able to introduce.
Partnership and Tyre Supply Summary:
• MRF / Motorsport Technic will offer financial support of R600 000 towards the NRC in 2020 and they have the option to renew / re-negotiate the agreement for the next two years after that. • Motorsport Technic will offer a “Tyre Service” at the Rallies once they have the required equipment, or they have appointed a suitable vendor instead. The goal is that this will be in place from the Rally of South Africa in April onwards.

• It has been agreed that the funds received will be applied as follows during the year: o 50K per event for Marketing / Media, with extensive Social Media Campaign being the core of our Marketing Strategy (we are busy preparing the strategy and package with a vendor and will announce further details soon). o 40K per event will be used to pay for essential services in order to lighten the financial burden on the organising clubs thereby freeing up resources to improve the quality of roads etc.

That leaves 60K for the year, which will be used to pay for awesome Trophies at the Championship Prize Giving that will take place at the final rally of the season, as well as the maintenance of our NRC assets like the Timing – and Tracking Equipment etc. • MRF Tyres will be the Control Tyre in classes NRC 1, 2 & 3 from Round 1 of the Championship. • MRF Tyres will be the Control Tyre in classes NRC 4 & 5 from Round 3 of the Championship.

• In order to reduce costs and to level the playing field, there will only be one Tyre Model and Compound in each size used. In other words, no Wet Weather Tyres may be used in any class once the Control Tyre is introduced as per the above. • MRF Tyres will receive their Return of Investment through our marketing / media campaign as well as visible branding of events and decals on rally cars which will be mandatory.

How the MRF Partnership will benefit Competitors:
• MRF has supplied tyres to the Australian Championship for two years and their figures have shown that the MRF Tyres have a very low wear rate compared to similar tyres from other manufacturers, so we expect competitors to use significantly fewer tyres per event / year, which will have a huge financial benefit in the long run. • Prices for the tyres are very competitive, so we can expect a cost saving here as well, with no price increases from what you paid in 2019. The exact prices of the various sizes will be known once the first shipment arrives in SA, but the NRC will ensure that competitors receive a fair deal.

• The MRF Tyre chosen for our conditions has a very strong Side Wall construction so we expect a reduced risk of Side Wall Punctures.

About MRF Tyres:
MRF is passionate about Motorsport and has been associated with all forms of Motorsport for over 4 decades. What started with touring car races, has led today to the power of formula racing with India’s own formula racing series – the MRF Challenge. They have also been heavily involved in the Asian Pacific Rally Championship and are the sponsors of the Indian Rally Champion, Guarev Gill.