2019 November 25, 15:22
SKF is a passionate sponsor of global motorsport. This renowned brand has been part of the on- and off-road, two and four wheel racing scene over many decades through turn-key product sponsorships and technical support. Through its separate Racing Division, the company is involved in all aspects of technical assistance, design and manufacture for specific motorsport applications. This holistic approach is in line with the SKF vision and philosophy to ‘equip the world with SKF knowledge’.
Avid supporter of all motor racing disciplines, Gary Czapski, who heads up SKF South Africa’s Automotive Division (VSM), has been instrumental in securing numerous local SKF motorsport sponsorships since 2010. “We believe that a solid long-term partnership with our customer is central to a successful and sustainable sponsorship that benefits both parties and we are proud of our close on 20 year relationship with Toyota Motorsport Team Principal, Glyn Hall.”
According to Hall, SKF products are first choice wherever they are applicable in the Toyota Hilux. “The high level of reliability, coupled with a wide range of applications make it the best option for us, and we are highly reliant on the quality that SKF delivers in our race-winning cars. Beyond the obvious applications, such as the gearbox, differentials and gearshift mechanisms, we have found many other uses for SKF products in our car, and we are grateful to have the support of such a highly rated company.”
Czapski points out that there are few environments as challenging as motorsport. “Off-road racing is particularly harsh with trying conditions such as rocks, dust and mud testing the performance, strength and durability of vehicles, components, parts and products.”
In the off-road racing circuit, and in particular the Dakar Rally, SKF has been part of numerous podium finishes. The bearing and technology specialist has supported the Dakar, known as one of the world’s most arduous races that tests both driver and vehicle to their limit, since 2012. “Our stellar eight year record speaks for itself with a 5th, a 4th, two third and two second places,” shares Czapski. Dakar 2019 saw Qatari driver Nasser Al Attiyah and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel from the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa's Hilux team lift the first place trophy.
The formidable Al Attiyah/Baumel duo has secured countless wins in the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa's Hilux: First place in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2016 and 2017 and the Rally of Morocco in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Team mates De Villiers/Haro took the win in 2019. Not to be outdone, Al Attiyah and Baumel took top honours in the Rally Kazakhstan and Silk Way Rally in 2019. Al Attiyah’s six consecutive wins at the Qatar Cross Country Rally has flown the Toyota Hilux flag high.
Czapski stresses that as reliability is essential to a successful racing season, it is imperative to fit only proven superior quality products that are capable of withstanding stringent conditions. This is where SKF’s automotive products take the chequered flag delivering best-in-class performance and reliability across all motorsport disciplines. These products include differential, gearbox and suspension bearings including even the simplest gear shifter bearings, lip seals and O-rings, as well as grease and lubrication.
SKF’s involvement in motorsport sponsorships which has seen the company maintain the longest running technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari in Formula One, will remain an important aspect of its business activities. “Our participation presents us as well as our customers with unparalleled advantages. By tapping into the knowledge gained from long-term technical partnerships we are able to invest this know-how into ongoing product improvements. There is no doubt that motorsport showcases the exceptional quality, performance and reliability of our products and technical capabilities while extending our brand visibility.”
For further information please contact:
Samantha Joubert, Marketing Manager
Tel: +27 (0) 821 3602 / Fax: +27 (0) 86 681 4342
SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. SKF offers solutions around the rotating shaft, including bearings, seals, lubrication, condition monitoring and maintenance services. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2018 were SEK 85 713 million and the number of employees was 44,428. www.skf.com
® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.