2009 has certainly been an interesting year. With the Global Financial Crisis forcing the consumer confidence down and playing havoc with currencies, the Climate Change debate and an ever increasing number of new legislations directed squarely at the racing, performance and tuning market, it’s not hard to see why 2009 is the year many companies would rather forget.
But just like with any other scenario, there was a flip side to this year too. Faced with uncertainty, consumers flocked to well-established and trusted brands. Brand loyalty and value-for-money rather than the price itself played a greater role in the purchasing decisions. So what the economists called a “downturn” presented a great opportunity to reconnect with the consumers, establish the trust and put the brand on a springboard, ready to launch itself on the back of the inevitable economic recovery.
At the beginning of 2009 we have given ourselves some ambitious goals. I’m glad to say that despite all the global turmoil we have managed to achieve them all.
The year started with the Turbosmart Tour (comprising of the fastest Australian rotary drag racers) arriving in New Zealand to compete against the best local racers in a series of drag racing events held across three major cities. Shortly after, Turbosmart-sponsored RIPS240Z has become the World’s Fastest 240Z adding another name to the long list of Turbosmart world records.
In March, PAC Performance’s brand new rotary drag car was officially launched at the Compak Attack in Sydney. PAC openly admitted they were going after the World Record and after months of trial and error and a few near-misses thrown in, PAC Performance did just that. With a 6.75@201 they have claimed the title of the World’s Fastest Rotary! The icing on the cake of our successes on the drag strip was InTune Performance’s Monaro taking out the outright win at Australia’s largest Sport Compact event – the 2009 Jamboree.
Meanwhile, on the circuit racing scene, Turbosmart-sponsored Pro-Duct EVO X, driven by Brad Jones and Jason Bargwanna finished third in one of Australia’s most gruelling endurance races – the Bathurst 12-hour, while Mark Berry picked up a runner-up title at the Superlap 2009 Time Attack Series.
Proving that Turbosmart products are just as at home on a boat as they are in a car, The Stinga Racing Team took home the Mildura 100 ski race trophy, followed by its sixth consecutive Bridge to Bridge win and ended the year on a high with the Junior World Title at the World Ski Race Championship in Belgium.
In the UK, the Turbosmart-sponsored and AET Turbos-backed Car Planet Racing two-car team has won both of its classes in the UK Time Attack Series and finished 3rd overall. Their flagship Mitsubishi EVO has also won the Ten Of The Best Shootout and picked up the runner-up title at the Ultimate Street Car Championship.
Things were just as exciting in North America. In July we have moved our US office into larger and more modern premises. Located close to all the major freight depots, Turbosmart USA can now handle bigger orders in a much quicker and more efficient way. We have also appointed a new Managing Director for Turbosmart USA – Marty Staggs, who apart from having considerable business experience is also a passionate racer himself and holder of a world record at that!
Speaking of records – our American sponsored drivers didn’t disappoint either, with Mike Murillo setting a newNMRA record in his twin-turbo Star Car II, Bridge Racing Mustang becoming the quickest on radials and Stillen GT-R coming first in its class at the Targa Newfoundland.
Retail-wise, one of the biggest achievements in the US market for us was the signing of an agreement withNAPA. Founded more than 80 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association is the largest auto parts distribution and retail supplier in the USA. With over six thousand stores nation-wide, NAPA’s market penetration will bring Turbosmart products within a reach of any American performance enthusiast.
As I’m writing this, our team has just returned from the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, Florida, where we have just launched our 2010 Product Range. To say that I’m excited about our new product range would be an understatement, the new products are not just better, they are smarter, more efficient, better performing and offer more value-for-money than ever. As the first decade of the new millennium draws to a close, I’m more confident than ever that Turbosmart products are, once again, at the forefront of the performance technology, delivering outstanding quality and performance and exceeding all expectations.
On behalf of all the Turbosmart staff and myself, I would like to thank all our distributors, wholesalers and dealers and most importantly – all of the performance enthusiasts and racers out there for their loyalty and dedication throughout the year. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Nicholas Cooper – CEO, Turbosmart Pty Ltd