“We are delighted that a national company of the stature of Basil Read has decided to join the ranks of sponsors of South African rallying,” said the president of the SA Rally Commission, Willie du Plessis, on hearing that Basil Read and Konica Minolta will back the return of Ford to the top class of local rallying with an all-new Fiesta S2000 for Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich.

“It is refreshing to have a new face in the sport of motor rallying in SA, which is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the SA championship in 1960,” added Du Plessis.

Basil Read, best known for its major construction work countrywide and very much part of the fabric of the country, has played an important role in SA motor sport in the past as the builder of the world famous Kyalami race circuit in 1960. The company founder, Basil Read and a colleague, Sandy Jameson, were both keen motor sport enthusiasts and played key roles in the project. Basil Read himself performed the official opening in 1961.

In 2005 Basil Read reached a milestone by becoming the first black empowerment construction company in SA and continues to be the empowerment leader in the sector. It also enjoys a competitive advantage from a long-standing partnership with global construction group Bouygues Travaux Publics SA.

The Basil Read Group now consists of five operational divisions – road and civil engineering structures, opencast mining and special projects, building and developments. It is operational through South Africa and includes businesses outside the borders, including mining operations in Namibia and Botswana. The company is now exploring new business opportunities in Europe, the Middle East and Australia and group CEO Marius Heyns says there are “some promising projects” in these regions.

Konica Minolta, the co-sponsor of the Ford Fiesta rally team, supported Wilken and Godrich in the past. This year the Bizhub brand will be promoted as the umbrella brand for cost-effective document production processes using the latest Konica Minolta equipment. As part of the Bizhub Quantum model the company can help companies analyse document usage and production methods and propose cost-saving measures.

“We have used motor sport as a promotional medium in the past, under both the Bizhub and Konica Minolta brands and believe it is the ideal high technology environment in which promote our products,” explained Konica Minolta SA MD, Alan Griffith.

“We are very proud that companies of the stature of Basil Read and Konica Minolta have decided to sponsor our team and now it is up to us to get Ford back on the top step of the SA rally podiums again,” said the Basil Read/Bizhub Ford Team director Flip Wilken.