Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Road Haulage Group Drives Toward Higher Profile with Racing Sponsorship

RHA Looks to Promote Itself and Lack of HGV Drivers
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has decided to raise its profile, both within the freight and logistics industry and with the general public, by sponsoring a car in the 2015 British Touring Car Championships. Part of the decision was made as the sector frets over the shortage of qualified HGV drivers and the seeming reluctance of youngsters to join an industry with a rapidly ageing population, the average age of a UK truck driver now being 53.

Choice for RHA sponsorship is driver Tom Ingram aged just 21 and who has already made a big mark on the racing circuit. At 17 he was accepted into the British Racing Drivers' Club after receiving the accolade of Rising Star, and his career is going from strength to strength. At the opening race of the season, held at Brands Hatch, Tom’s great performance meant he finished 8th on the leader board. RHA chief executive Richard Burnett commented:

“This is a result for Tom Ingram, the RHA and the industry as a whole. Right now we are facing a massive driver shortage and, unless we can get funding to enable hauliers to recruit and train new drivers, it’s a situation that will only get worse, something that the UK economy can simply not afford. We know that raising the profile of the RHA with a wider and younger audience will be a sure-fire way of attracting interest in the road haulage and logistics industry and the wide range of career opportunities it has to offer.

“The sponsorship opportunity that we have entered into with the Speedworks racing team and Tom Ingram is already proving to be a tremendous success. Tom’s performance at the weekend ensured that his Toyota Avensis, emblazoned with the RHA logo achieved massive exposure for the RHA brand and, with a full season calendar ahead, we are in no doubt that this unusual step was absolutely the right decision.”

Tom Ingram, new to the Speedworks team last year, featured on no less than 22 podiums of the 27 rounds on his way to the 2013 Ginetta GT Supercup title, having won the Championship in every racing category that he has entered. He said:

“We are delighted to have the RHA as a key sponsor for the 2015 BTCC season. There is a very natural fit between our organisations as we both rely on professional truck drivers. It’s disturbing to hear about the severe shortage of HGV drivers, so perhaps I should take my HGV test in case I need to drive my own car transporter to race circuits in the future! I'm really proud to have the RHA supporting me and I'm massively excited about driving forward together for a successful 2015."