Sasol tonight (Thursday 13 February) unveiled a suped-up line-up of star drivers for its 2003 Steam Team and junior rally team attack on circuit and rally championships, part of the plan to further improve on the 9 (overall and class) championships secured by Sasol DualFuel-backed racers last year. -

- The S.A. and world petroleum leader in the fuel from coal manufacturing process also announced its naming sponsorship of the SKID Advanced Driving Centre and skidpan at the Zwartkops International Driving Centre near Pretoria, both now officially carrying the Sasol DualFuel brand. This is in addition to the ongoing support of the Yokohama Advanced Driving School (Gerotek). -

- In addition, Sasol's unique low sulphur diesel, Sasol TurboDiesel, will be the fuel of choice in this year's 4x4 Eco Challenge, run by Gerhard and Elmarie Kriel's Worcester-based Klipbokkop 4x4 enterprise in association with Sarel van der Merwe, and partnered by Mitsubishi (Pajero and Colt) and Goodyear. -

- The 2003 semi-finals take place at Ashkam in the Kalahari in May and June. From 8 to 23 August the nine qualifying finalist teams (of 2 people) will be severely tested from Cape Town to Angola, not only on their 4x4 skills in the Sasol TurboDiesel-powered vehicles, but with strong emphasis on their knowledge and understanding of the environment and ecology. -

- Full details of the event are available at www.4x4ecochallenge.co.za. -

- In the 10-round Vodacom Power Tour, Sasol's focus is on two reigning champions who collectively have had an association of 15 years with Sasol - Johan Fourie in the WesBank Samcar and Phillip Kekana in the Engen Volkswagen Cup national championships, respectively. -

- Fourie defends his WesBank and S.A. Drivers' Championship titles, under the Supervan Racing banner, initially in last year's Sasol DualFuel Astra V8. The blue Sasol livery will also appear on the currently being constructed Omegas that the team will race this season, hopefully from the 3rd round in Port Elizabeth in April. -

- Teammates, Shaun Watson-Smith and Melville Priest both receive support from Sasol, who also maintain their long association with the SAMCAR series as official (Sasol DualFuel) supplier, co-broadcast sponsor on Supersport and race day naming sponsor at Zwartkops Raceway on 2 August. -

- After 8 years in Production Cars, where he last year eclipsed the Class D championship in his Sasol DualFuel Toyota Tazz, Kekana is converting to the one-make new hatchback Engen Volkswagen Cup, debuting at A.A. Kyalami on Saturday (22 February). -

- The "Township Tornado" from Diepkloof is ready for a new challenge - against a host of S.A.'s premier saloon car racers and on Continental slick tyres - with full backing from Sasol DualFuel, Volkswagen Racing (via Keith Coleman Motorsport) and Holiday Inn. -

- The same combination of sponsors and technical team are behind the Class A5 National Rally Championship effort of Gugulethu Zulu, again partnered by co-driver, Dave McGregor, in the 8 rounds commencing with the Tour Natal on 7 and 8 March. -

- Zulu, who for now is focussing on dirt (and not track) racing this year, is partnered by fellow "Zulus" Nkosinathi Nzimande and FaniFani Meyiwa, also in their second year of national rallying. -

- Their Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Chico also takes on the new sparkling blue Sasol Volkswagen Rally Team colour scheme, and will be prepared by veteran rallyist, Ken Westermeyer. -

- The "Impi Warrior" Junior Team could well surprise in the competitive Class A5 championship. -

- The full works team line-up in classes A8 and A7, details of this year's Sasol Rally in Mpumalanga (20-21 June) and other Sasol projects in rallying and off-road racing will soon be made public. -

- Rally privateers who will display the Sasol DualFuel logo in 2003 include Class N4 hotshots, Schalk Burger/Piet Swanepoel (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) and Fernando Rueda/Martin Botha (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII), as well as Motorsport Africa editor, Steve Mearns (Class A5 Toyota Tazz). -

- On the track, CarToday.com's Craig Nicholson (Class C Production Car Sabat Honda), the Ford Racing equipe's Class A and D entries and Citizen Motoring scribe, Angus Thompson, destined to soon run a diesel Polo Playa in the VW Cup, all campaign with Sasol fuel and lubricant support. -

- Finally, the Sasol SAGMJ "Top Gun of the Year" competition continues into its third year, with a difference. -

- Any of the judged "Top Guns" in any of the six national categories racing at each Vodacom Power Tour meeting will be in line to win the event's R1000 prize and trophy. -

- One of these 10 will be come the 2003 Sasol SAGMJ "Top Gun of the Year", winning R15000 and a handsome trophy, that honour bestowed on Superbike racer, Graeme van Breda, this past season. -

- Commenting on Sasol's announcement of its 2003 plans, Sasol Oil Sponsorship Manager, Pano Nicolopulos, said, "As per many previous years in local motorsport participation, it's about balance, but social responsibility has been infused into the marketing objectives and strategies".-

- "The driver line-up is a balance of proven champions and deserving up and coming talent. The same principle applies to the chosen racing categories and teams".-

- "Through our investment in the 4x4 Eco Challenge and Zwartkops Advanced Driving and Skidpan we are endorsing Sasol's new slogan "reaching new frontiers" and fulfilling our corporate social investment values with specific reference to the promotion of the need to better understand and preserve our environment, and the active participation in the (much-needed) training of motorists, taxi drivers and more to become advanced in their attitudes and skills on South African roads," he concluded. -

- Watch highlights of the Sasol launch on Supersport's Vodacom on Track next Thursday, 20 February, from 18h00 (CSN/Supersport 2). -

- For digital photographic of the Sasol launch contact Tony Alves on 082 880 5238. -

- For the latest news on Sasol's motorsport programme go to www.sasolmotorsport.co.za or www.cartoday.com. -

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