Kumho Tyres has announced a new encouragement award program to be run in conjunction with the 2010 Australian Rally Championship and designed to give up-and-coming rally drivers and teams reward for their effort and incentive to continue in the National Championship.

The Kumho Future Champions Award will be judged by a panel of experts at each round of the 2010 ARC and will give drivers in the privateer Premier League category access to almost $2000 worth of new tyres to be used at the next ARC round.

Kumho Tyres motor sport coordinator, John Mills, says the Kumho Future Champions Award has been designed to help Premier League drivers to step up to the elite level and give them the encouragement and incentive to continue in what is a demanding and expensive sport.

"The judging criteria are simple with the winner to be judged as the Premier League team which has shown the most professionalism, performance and the potential to become future Australian Rally Champions," said John Mills.

"The award will be judged by a panel of elite level drivers and some of the elder states people of the sport and will be made at the conclusion of each round of the ARC," he said.

"All Premier Class teams will be eligible and no registration or registration fee will be required, all Premier League level competitors entered in the event will be in the running for the award," he added.

"The winner of the award at each round will receive a trophy plus a voucher for eight rally tyres to be redeemed at the next ARC round during 2010."

"That means winners will receive almost $2000 in direct assistance to their ARC campaign at the next round giving them the chance to reduce their costs and bolster their budget," he said

"Kumho is putting its backing into the Australian Rally Championship and with the reduction in the cost of tyres, the encouragement awards and the significant rights fees going to the sport, Kumho's commitment to rallying is by far the largest commercial backing for the sport this year," Mills added.

Kumho's strong financial support to rallying will help regrow the sport and build a stronger competition into the future.

Competitors in the 2010 Australian Rally Championship have a choice between three different types of gravel tyre, the Kumho R900 for hard packed gravel, the R800 which is an asymmetrical design and aimed at loose gravel and the R700 which is a wet weather tyre designed for muddy conditions. In addition the company has air freighted a stock of its CO3 tarmac tyres for the opening round which is the only event run on sealed roads.

The Australian Rally Championship kicks off on February 26-28 with the tarmac Rally Tasmania based in Burnie on the North West coast of the Apple Isle, before moving on to five gravel rounds across every mainland state.
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