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SsangYong NZ and BNT V8 SuperTourers launch new race

SsangYong NZ and BNT V8 SuperTourers launch new race

SsangYong NZ and BNT V8 SuperTourers have joined forces and in 2014 will launch a brand new racing category featuring SsangYong’s Actyon Sports Double Cab Ute.

SsangYong Actyon Racing (SAR) is a three year series that will run as a major support on the undercard to NZ’s premier motor racing category, the BNT V8 SuperTourers.

SAR has been created to deliver affordable and exciting motor racing, with a number of redeeming differences – affordability, accessibility and the celebrity factor.

From only $30k + gst individuals or companies can purchase one of these racing utes, fully converted and ready to race. The aim is to have a field of 30 utes on the grid for the launch event, V8ST’s Fathers Day 400 at Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park on September 7th Like the V8 SuperTourers, SAR will be a controlled category, so all utes will be exactly the same spec, no variations – so it will come down to driver ability on race day. The Actyons will be powered
by a 2.3 litre Mercedes-Benz petrol engine driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox and open differential, with the suspension lowered to improve handling.

The series has been designed specifically to attract everyday people, both male and female, with a penchant for adventure and the desire to give motor racing a crack. The Ssangyong Actyon Racing Series is accessible to drivers of all levels, from the beginner to the more advanced, but is restricted to amateur drivers. The race format will consist of three races over a two day weekend. A qualifying session will determine the grid for the first race, the second race will be reverse grid and for the third race the grid will be determined by a marble draw. Drivers will be competing for the Sir Colin Meads Cup, racing seven rounds annually alongside the BNT V8 SuperTourers.

We envisage that half the utes in the field will be driven by celebrities and well known personalities.

To date names on the list include ex-All Blacks Norm Hewitt and Todd Blackadder and TV personality Leigh Hart.

Leigh Hart said he was really looking forward to a new challenge. “As one of the country’s top unprofessional drivers, with the NZ record for rolling rental cars, I am looking forward to kicking some serious arse.”

A number of major corporates have already put their names down to secure one of the 30 Racing Utes that will make up the field.

V8ST’s broadcast partnerTV3 have confirmed their support for the series, citing the celebrity involvement as a real attraction. The feature Actyon Sport race will be shown as part of the same-day coverage alongside the BNT V8 SuperTourers on TV3’s CRC Motorsport. This will be backed up with a 30 minute TV show dedicated to the Actyon Racing Series, aired a week later.

The TV coverage, the celebrity factor and its billing alongside the BNT V8 SuperTourers guarantees a fantastic return for sponsors and owners.

This new category will be launched at round 5 of the Hankook Super Series in September 2014 with the second event being at a South Island track in October followed by the final at Pukekohe Park Raceway in late November. It will then move to a seven round annual series from 2015.

SsangYong NZ are very excited to be partnering with a prestigious event like BNT V8 SuperTourers and are looking forward to seeing how the event develops with the addition of an affordable, amateur racing series, packed with elebrities.

Chairman Rick Cooper says it’s a win/win for the Korean brand. “We are heavily involved with motorsports and this is an innovative way to get our Ute in front of our target demographic – the bonus is at the end of every race, a SsangYong is going to win!”

“It’s a great way for us to get behind Motorsports in NZ and provide those who may not have been able to afford it in the past, the opportunity to get behind the wheel and give it a go!”

V8ST CEO, Ray Noonan shares in SsangYong’s excitement and believes it is a great initiative.

“We think this will be a very popular series and a well needed shot in the arm for motorsport. One of our key goals is to broaden the appeal of motorsport and make it more accessible while attracting new fans and sponsors,” says Noonan. “This ticks all those boxes. A large grid will be a welcome addition to the series and the entertainment value is obvious.”

SsangYong is currently one of NZ’s fastest growing vehicle brands. The four model range includes the Korando (compact SUV from only $26,990), the Rexton (7 seater SUV from only $39,990), the new Stavic (8 seater MPV/SUV from only $39,990) and of course the Actyon Sports (double cab ute from only $29,990).


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