When it comes to ideas of how to launch a national motorsport promotional platform to a company’s executive and regional management team, few come better than this.
Burson Auto Parts Management Team Get A Sandown Surprise
Australia’s Burson Auto Parts has enjoyed a long and exciting motorsport presence across several major national motor racing categories over recent years, assisting to promote Australia’s preferred trade supplier of automotive parts, tools and equipment.
For 2020, the decision was made to become a major player in Australia’s newest touring car racing series, TCR Australia, by partnering with highly experienced racing driver Jason Bargwanna and the legendary Garry Rogers Motorsport team. This decision was kept under wraps to only the most senior members of Burson Auto Parts’ management team (less than a handful of people) in order to create a surprise reveal unlike any other.
A company memo was sent around to the entire management team requesting their attendance at a driver training event at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway, in order for them to learn some vital road safety and defensive driving skills.
What the Burson Auto Parts national management team didn’t know was that the real reason to bring them all together, was to unveil the company’s fully liveried TCR Australia race car, along with some super high speed rides as well! At the conclusion of the driver training exercises, the Burson Auto Parts drivers who scored the highest points in the exercise were recognised and Executive General Manager Craig Magill asked everyone to group together in the Sandown Raceway pitlane.
After congratulating all for taking part, Craig added, “And we just wanted to let you know that Burson Auto Parts is back in frontline motorsport…” and as soon as he finished the roar of the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot 308 TCR took over, with Jason Bargwanna powering the car straight to them, to gasps of surprise and spontaneous applause.
By this stage invited media had also been invited (on the quiet) to ensure that this event and livery launch included a photo and video shoot to ensure broad national motorsport and trade media coverage.
Shortly after the photo opportunities were completed, the winning members of the Burson Auto Parts management team were geared up and taken for 250kph rides of the Sandown circuit with Bargwanna at the wheel.
“It Was Great To Be Able To Surprise Everyone, Have The Car Fully Liveried And Ready For Rides On One Of The Fastest Racing Circuits In The Country.”
The logistics of bringing the car to the circuit, hiding it in one of the pit garages and making sure it was all ready to go without anyone seeing it included the GRM team bringing a different transporter to keep the secret alive to the very last moment.
According to Jason Bargwanna, “What a way to let everyone know what we are doing – the looks on everyone’s faces were priceless!”
“It was great to be able to surprise everyone, have the car fully liveried and ready for rides on one of the fastest racing circuits in the country.”
According to Burson Auto Parts General Manager – Marketing, Anthony Hughes, “We even gained the support of several valued supplier sponsors to be on the car with us without a word getting out to everyone of what we were doing. It was a fun day, everyone brushed up on their driving skills and they all got up close and personal with our new TCR Car, driver and team.”
Once the cat was out of the bag, Burson Auto Parts was joined by representatives from supplier sponsors Dayco, Hella, Wesfil, Fuchs, Hella, Hella Pagid, Sachs, Bosch and Premier Auto Trade for a private VIP visit of the Garry Rogers Motorsport headquarters, base of the Burson Auto Parts Racing TCR team.
Burson Auto Parts Racing TCR Team Hits The Track With Garry Rogers Motorsport
After the Sandown surprise, it was made official: Australia’s preferred trade supplier of parts, tools and equipment, Burson Auto Parts, had returned to motor racing with a major presence in the country’s most progressive motor racing series, the 2020 Carsales TCR Australia Touring Car Series.
Partnering with one of the biggest names in Australian motorsport, Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM), Burson Auto Parts is the major sponsor of highly renowned Australian racing driver Jason Bargwanna and his GRM Customer Racing prepared Peugeot 308 TCR.
Sporting an eye-catching white, blue and red Burson Auto Parts Racing livery, the Peugeot 308 TCR arrived direct from competitive performances in European TCR racing to form a part of the most diverse vehicle manufacturer field in Australian motor racing.
TCR Australia includes all front-wheel drive C-Segment hatchbacks or sedans, powered by production based turbocharged petrol or diesel engines with a capacity of up to two litres. Vehicles represented in the series include such makes as Alfa-Romeo, Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Peugeot, Renault, Subaru and Volkswagen.
Australia’s Burson Auto Parts is part of the country’s largest automotive aftermarket specialised company, Bapcor Limited. There are more than 185 Burson Auto Parts stores nationwide with the company’s growth continuing at a solid pace.
According to Anthony Hughes, Burson Auto Parts General Manager, Marketing, “This is an opportune time to maximise the Burson Auto Parts – The Parts Professionals message to our loyal and growing trade customer base across the country. TCR is a new and exciting national motor racing category and the cars strongly reflect the majority that are being driven and serviced by our customers – the mechanics in your local workshops.”
“We have a very highly experienced driver in Jason Bargwanna and an even more experienced team in GRM for the new TCR season. We are joined by our supplier partners Dayco, Wesfil, Fuchs, Hella, Hella Pagid, Sachs, Bosch and Premier Auto Trade with this exciting marketing initiative and we forward to a fantastic season ahead,” he added.
Burson Auto Parts Racing TCR driver Jason Bargwanna is also keen to get back behind the wheel this season.
“Returning to top level motorsport with such an iconic and blue-chip partner is unreal,” Bargwanna stated.
“I have been fortunate over the years to work with many teams and sponsors. There is no doubt that Burson Auto Parts is the perfect partner for my 2020 TCR championship assault.
“The team at Burson Auto Parts understands what makes mechanics and their workshops tic, they connect with their customer base strongly and partnering with a leading European brand like Peugeot is symbolic of what the automotive aftermarket represents today.
“The Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot is a rocket-ship and the car looks fantastic. And as the season progresses we will have some exciting livery design changes to highlight some of the world renowned and iconic automotive brands available through your local Burson Auto Parts store.
“I look forward to meeting the Burson Auto Parts team at stores across the country and I am very excited about racing with this outstanding Australian company – now let’s get on the track!” Bargwanna said.
The opening event of the 2020 TCR Australia season was planned to take place at the Rolex Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from March 12 to 15 and continue across seven national championship rounds from March to September. A two driver Bathurst endurance race, the inaugural TCR Bathurst International would have concluded the season in November.
Burson Auto Parts planned to conduct trade promotions linked to their new TCR motor racing marketing platform during 2020 as the championship made its way across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
Burson Auto Parts Racing TCR Debut Cut Short At The Australian Grand Prix
The historic Australian Grand Prix debut of the Carsales TCR Australia Series sadly didn’t fully eventuate for Burson Auto Parts Racing and the rest of the bumper season opening field.
As everyone now is more than aware, the 2020 Rolex Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on the morning of Friday March 13 after only one day of circuit activities due to a coronavirus outbreak within the Formula One paddock.
Only the Porsche Carrera Cup and Supercars categories managed to complete their practice, qualifying and race sessions on the Thursday, completing just one of four scheduled races for each category over the weekend. The TCR Australia cars managed to complete practice and qualifying on day one.
Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR driver Jason Bargwanna set the 8th fastest lap time of opening practice, was 11th in second practice and he qualified 13th for the cancelled race.
Given Bargwanna’s extensive racing pedigree and the Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot’s early pace and form, the team was looking forward to seeing the car in race trim across the remaining four days of what would have been the 25th running of Australia’s largest international motorsport event.
The Burson Auto Parts sponsored driver and team shared the massive disappointment in the sudden loss of the opening TCR Australia event of 2020 after such a great deal of preparation.
“I have been fortunate to have be doing this motor racing thing for a while now but I have never experienced anything like what happened at the AGP this year,” Bargwanna said.
“Our Peugout 308 was on fire. The two practice sessions went to plan and I went into qualifying full of confidence for a top result. The car was well balanced and ready for the ever-important lap on green (new) tyres.
“Qualifying is always critical and this was my first real push in this car. We set the session up for a last two lap run when the tyre temperature was at the max. I had set an awesome first sector and was heading for a 2min5.05 lap when it all came undone with only four corners to go. A top five qualifying result beckoned, but I locked the brake and ran wide and that was that – my mistake, mine to own and mine to learn from.
“It was truly disappointing that the entire event was cancelled, we were bolted in the car on Friday morning and ready for the race fans to see the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot 308 in action in its first race.
“The whole situation was evolving daily and it was important to maintain perspective, but like the fans, I was really devastated that we didn’t get to race.
“Fingers crossed we will be back in action soon with lessons learned and confidence high and as always I will be aiming to deliver the national Burson Auto Parts team and their customers a strong result.
“We might not be shaking hands, but let’s just toe tap and get on with it – let’s race!” Bargwanna stated.
[colored_box color=”yellow”]To find out more about TCR, visit www.tcraustralia.com.
Contact your nearest Burson Auto Parts store for any automotive parts, tools or workshop equipment requirements by calling 1300 BURSON (287 766).
To now more visit Burson Auto Parts online at www.burson.com.au.[/colored_box]