The South African Motorsport Club (SAM) and York Timbers (Pty) Ltd are proud to announce York Timbers as the new title sponsor of the second leg of the 2017 National Rally Championships (NRC). The Rally which will take place in Sabie, and Graskop, Mpumalanga, has long been regarded as one of the most scenic and spectacular rallies in South Africa and is undoubtedly the most popular event on the South African motorsport calendar for competitors, officials and spectators.
The NRC consists of seven events all over the country which are each organised by different clubs or committees. The York Rally in Mpumalanga, organised by SAM, will form the second leg in the championship and is the only event with International status having been part of the African Rally Championship (ARC) for the past six years.
SAM, located in Pretoria, will be 60 years old next year, and previously received sponsorships for this event from Molyslip and NGK Spark Plugs with Sasol Energy as the main sponsor for the past 25 years. Just three months before the 2017 event, Sasol unexpectedly announced that they will no longer be sponsoring it which left SAM with a huge predicament.
York, (which was previously a co-sponsor as landowner of the routes for the Rally), in partnership with local businesses, including the Sabie and Graskop Business Chambers plan to step in to ensure the continuation of this event. This will be a major York Corporate Social Investment initiative to support the community and mitigate against the impact of Sasol Energy withdrawing their sponsorship and thereby avoiding the potential cancellation of the Rally.
York Timbers owns 7 800km of plantation roads and land, and has been a co-sponsor of the Rally for 25 years. This year York takes the lead as the title sponsor in facilitating the continuation of this important tourism boost in the region. The new “grand finale” stage, with a cross over bridge which York built specifically for the Rally, was a first in 2016 and will grow to a spectacular feature of the event in 2017.
Once again SAM and York will focus very strongly on the safety of our competitors, service crews, officials, media, spectators, employees and the members of the community and therefore will ensure that all possible safety measures are in place.
York values the Rally’s contribution to our community and surrounding area. It is an opportunity for businesses to enjoy additional tourism and create work opportunities leading up to, and during the period of the Rally. The Rally provides a stakeholder engagement opportunity for local business and furthermore enables stakeholders to enjoy the York experience.
York Timbers is looking forward to our ongoing partnership and support of the South African Motorsport Club.