The sport of point-to-pointing has a major new title sponsor in the shape of the Volkswagen luxury 4×4 model, the Touareg. The sponsorship of the 2006 2006 Gentlemen’s Open Point-to-Point Championship was announced last Friday.

“VW is probably the most generous sponsor the sport has ever had,” said Nicholas Price, chairman of the PTP sponsorship committee.

The package, valued at around £50,000, includes a £10,000 prize to the championship winner, along with VW-branded equipment and sponsorship of the qualifier series.

This new sponsorship signals a strengthening of the Touareg model’s support of equestrian events in the UK. During 2005, the Touareg was the official vehicle sponsor of the FEI Petplan Blenheim European Championships and the official vehicle of the senior British three-day eventing team.

The 2006 Volkswagen Touareg Gentleman’s Open Championship includes 28 national qualifying races, commencing on 2 January with the Cambridgeshire Harriers meeting at Cottenham. The national final will be staged at Towcester Racecourse on Monday (evening) 15 May 2006, with the championship winner receiving £10,000. Furthermore, if the winning horse qualifies through one of the sponsored qualifiers, Volkswagen will award a bonus of £5,000.

At each of the 28 qualifiers, the winning owner will receive momentoes including a Volkswagen sweat rug, and the winning rider will also receive Volkswagen momentoes. The sponsoring Volkswagen retailer at each qualifier will also present the Best Turned Out Award to the groom, who will receive a cash prize and Volkswagen clothing.

The qualifying heats are sponsored by individual Volkswagen retailers, who will feature a vehicle display offering spectators the chance to test drive the Touareg on-event.

Claire France, retailer marketingmanager from Volkswagen expressed her excitement at the sponsorship: “This partnership provides our Retailers with a unique opportunity to demonstrate the Touareg’s amazing capabilities to those people who truly require them on a day-to-day basis.”

With its combination of on- and off-road credentials and impressive towing capacity the Touareg is the perfect vehicle for the Point-to-Point Championship, be it for spectators or competitors. Features such as permanent four-wheel drive, low and high gear ratios, electronic traction control linked to an auto-locking centre differential, hill start and descent assist and short front and rear overhangs all contribute to its superb capability when venturing off the beaten track.

As well as delivering top-class performance both on and off the road, the Touareg is luxuriously appointed and equipped offering features such as parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite navigation and a 6-CD autochanger.

  • For more information on the Volkswagen range, including the Touareg, call (tel: 0800 037 7888) or visit: www.volkswagen.co.uk