New ISP Backs Challenger For Hill Climbing Crown
The country’s newest ISP ValueNet has plenty in common with motor racing champion Per Eklund whom it is sponsoring in this weekend’s Race to the Sky in Queenstown.
The ISP plans a steep growth curve, and aims to win as a newcomer to the race. In addition, ValueNet’s founder Kerry Gordon has had a close association with motor sport over many years both as a competitor and a sponsor.
Eklund is a newcomer to the 75-strong field of auto racers who will compete on the fourth annual hill climb event in Central Otago’s Cardrona Valley, up the Waiorau Mountain Range.
Auto hill climbing is one of the oldest disciplines in motor sport and one of the most demanding. Competitors race their cars from the bottom of the hill to the top. First car to the top wins.
The Queenstown Gold Rush “Race to the Sky” has, in just three years, established itself on the international hill climb circuit.
Eklund, who holds the title for the world’s premier hill climb event at Pikes Peak, Colorado, USA, comes to Queenstown for the first time this year, thanks to a two year sponsorship deal with ISP newcomer ValueNet (www.value.net.nz)
While Eklund is cautious about his prospects, citing competitors that will be more familiar with the South Island race circuit, he is tipped by many as a leading contender in his first start.
ValueNet’s Kerry Gordon is hoping his new, low cost ISP can achieve the kind of results in the Internet market that Eklund is tipped to achieve on the hill climb.
The ISP is limiting its membership to the first 10,000 subscribers to ensure it maintains quality of service.
Mr Gordon anticipates a growth curve as steep as the mountain track, with early signs that subscriber numbers will climb just as fast.
But the sponsor’s association with motor sport predates the Internet altogether.
Before launching his ISP venture, Gordon established Bartercard in New Zealand and during that time was a sponsor of motoring legend Jim Richards. Gordon co-drove with Richards in his Porsche in several events.
Gordon also knows the value of motor sport sponsorship as a competitor. From 1977 to 1980, he was among the top five motor cross riders in New Zealand, competing all over the country and internationally, supported in his turn by his sponsors.
“I’ve the scars to prove it,” says Gordon who has stayed close to motor sport from the pits since he left competitive riding for the world of new technology and electronic payments.
“It will be exciting to see Eklund race. He’s at the top of his field, and it’s great to see him in New Zealand,” said Gordon.
ValueNet offers subscribers 80 hours Internet use a month for $9.95, offering the next best thing to free Internet in the wake of the demise of the free ISP.
The ISP has a reseller programme for schools and clubs. Schools and clubs earn $10 for every annual $99 subscription they sell. Furthermore, an annual subscription translates into an even lower monthly rate of $8.25 for 80 hours on the Internet.