National Rally Championship 2020 – Newsletter 1

The NRC Steering Committee would like to welcome all our Competitors, Officials, Partners, Suppliers, Families and Supporters to the National Rally Championship 2020. May it be a year to remember for all the right reasons!

We are all aware of the challenges we have faced in motorsport over the last couple of years and that these will continue to bug us in 2020 and beyond. To overcome these issues and grow rallying back to where it belongs, we will need to be disruptive and innovative in our thinking. We will have to work together in finding new ways of making our sport attractive and relevant to the public, potential financial partners as well as the next generation of competitors, while at the same time curbing ever-escalating costs, but without sacrificing the quality of the Championship and competitor safety. We look forward to the challenge and invite all of you along for the ride, even when it gets bumpy!

Before the season kicks-off in March, we would like to share some exciting news as well as changes to the championship which we believe will be a great step forward:

New NRC Classes and a Championship for everybody!
We 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. We are very excited to announce that MRF Tyres have joined our Championship as Partner and Tyre Supplier, through 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/renegotiate 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:
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).

40K per event will be used to pay for essential services 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.
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.

MRF has won 8 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) titles including the 2016 championship with the MRF-Skoda Asia Pacific Rally Championship Team and has been the tyre supplier to the Australian Rally championship since 2018.

You will be able to purchase your MRF Tyres form Motorsport Technic as soon as the first shipment arrives in February. For more information, please contact Kobus Roos via e-mail: kobus@ms-technic.com
In closing, the NRC Steering Committee respects your opinion and would like to receive your comments and suggestions at any time. We encourage healthy, positive dialogue about our sport and how we manage it, but please refrain from breaking down the sport’s reputation through participating in “Social Media Warfare”. Please route your communications to us through the proper channels and for any further information about NRC 2020 please contact William Louw via e-mail: william@electrothread.co.za

Cheers, until our next News Letter,

NRC Steering Committee