Friday, April 27

RICOH TO FUND NEW SEAL AT TAUPO

Taupo Motorsport Park is set to have the patches on the track, especially the corners, fixed for good thanks to the commitment of Ricoh New Zealand in a new naming rights sponsorship deal signed this week that will provide much needed re-sealing funds.

Issues with the seal, predominantly on the corners, are part of the life cycle of all racing circuits which ultimately need a permanent solution as opposed to a patch. Patches have been a feature of the Taupo Track since grooves appeared soon after it opened in 2006 as the only FIA grade 2 circuit in New Zealand.

Track manager Geoff Langham says the various repairs tried to date have never permanently fixed the surface, which has caused both imagined and some real concern for competitors and organisers alike.

Now, with Ricoh New Zealand 's support through a confidential sponsorship deal, Fulton Hogan will be contracted to mill out all existing damaged and patched areas and re-seal them with a special formulation specifically developed for use on race tracks. This will restore the track to premium condition with the project expected to be complete by the end of June.

Charles Dawson, owner of Formula Challenge Events, which carries out motorsport experiences and driver training at the Taupo facility, says Ricoh's involvement will breathe new life into the park.

"Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park is a great motorsport, conference and driver training venue, but the deterioration of the track surface has been causing some concern to circuit users. With the issue resolved, the Taupo economy will benefit fromm greater use of the park as it is sure to attract a greater number of major motor racing events. There is already a lot of interest and that will increase further once the track is back in top condition."

Ricoh New Zealand Managing Director Michael Pollok says Ricoh is a strong supporter of many different sports in New Zealand, and facilities that are important to their surrounding communities. "It has been a shame to see such a great venue adversely affected by this issue. The Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park is going to be a world-class facility where drivers and motorcycle riders alike can have total confidence in the track surface. Ricoh is proud to be playing a key role in bring this about."

"One of the park's operators, Formula Challenge Events, also provides non-racing activities such as driver training, which improves New Zealand's road safety and potentially saves lives, and that fits well with Ricoh's corporate social responsibility values.