Rooster roars out of the blocks

The British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) 2017 roared into life at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 25th & 26th March, with Rooster’s Luke Taylor showing a turn of pace that will stand the team in good stead for the long season ahead.

The sun shone and the crowds came out in force at a picture-perfect Brands Hatch, and truck racing fans soon had evidence that Rooster – ably supported by partners G-Truck and UAN Truck – would be a force to be reckoned with in 2017.

After a truncated first practice session – one truck span into the gravel and had to be retrieved – Luke spent the qualifying session showing just what the team’s new MAN racing truck (affectionately named King Klaus) could do.

On fire
“Luke was on fire,” says team manager David Taylor. “With his mentor (European truck racing legend) Jochen Hahn presiding over events, Luke blasted into position two on the grid, which shows just how fast he can be in this truck.”

Taking second place in the first qualifying session of the season would be an impressive feat for any driver making his first competitive outing in a new truck. What made Luke’s achievement more surprising is that the young driver had spent the best part of half of last season sidelined with a serious wrist injury.

It wouldn’t be the last good news for Rooster on a successful Saturday of breakneck racing. Luke took a battling third place in the first race of the new season, and Rooster’s delight at a first podium finish so early in the championship was matched by their joy in the performance of the new MAN racing truck.

“The truck is just amazing,” says David. “It’s a thing of engineering beauty, both in full flight and stationary on the grid. It looks superb and drives brilliantly.”

Fastest lap
Sunday was a more mixed day for the team, at least in terms of results. Luke finished in the middle of the pack in each of the three races, which was perhaps evidence of a driver yet to fully familiarise himself with a new machine.

But the results don’t tell the whole story of another exciting day. Brands Hatch was always going to be about testing Rooster’s new potential, and the last of the day’s races showed just what that potential might be. Luke finished in seventh place, but posted the fastest lap of the race and the second fastest lap of the entire weekend. If he can translate that sort of driving into podium finishes, the season holds considerable promise.

“This is the Chinese Year of the Rooster and Luke’s confidence is sky high,” says David. “He is very focused. We also have new recruits to the team and of course the superb backing of partners G-Truck & UAN Truck and all our sponsors. Taken together, that makes an awesome looking package.”

Partners make “awesome package”
Martin Sangster, Commercial Manager for G-Truck, added: “It was a fantastic weekend for Rooster as well as for G-Truck, UAN Truck, and all the partners. The weather was great and the truck looked at its absolute best – it will look superb on the TV coverage! There was a nice crowd who were happy to mingle in the paddock and see what this team is all about.”

The BTRC championship now moves on to Pembrey, South Wales, on 22/23 April, after which Rooster and the team take a trip to Austria to compete in ETRC FIA European Truck Racing. “These are exciting times for Rooster,” says David. “Watch this space.”

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MoT Consultation due next week

As previously reported, the IAAF is vigorously fighting the proposed changes to the MoT testing regime to a 4:1:1 frequency.  The IAAF has now completed a proposed submission to the consultation document issued at the end of January with a 12 week period for responses.

A copy of the draft is on the IAAF website and members can access this by visiting the IAAF website and then logging into the General Members area.

To visit the IAAF website, CLICK HERE.

If you experience any difficulty in accessing the IAAF members please contact Ann Silvester at the IAAF Office either by email or by telephoning 0121 748 4600.

If you have any feedback or comments on the document, please contact the IAAF Office using the link below before next Wednesday, 12th April 2017.

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IAAF Golf dates 2017 – Reminder

The IAAF will be holding its seventh IAAF Golf Team Challenge in aid of our industry charity, BEN.

Last year’s event successfully raised nearly £2,000 for BEN via your generous donations plus the surplus funds from the event and we hope we can do even better this year.

The winners from Robert Bosch Ltd. at The Forest of Arden who also won the overall trophy for 2016

This year for the first time we will be accepting entries from individuals, as well as the usual teams of four.

The overall winning team from across the two days’ play will be invited to the IAAF’s Annual Dinner in December where they will be presented with their trophy.

The venues and dates are as follows:
North           5th July         Worsley Park, Nr. Manchester
Midlands    10th August   Forest of Arden, Meriden, Warwickshire

The cost per team of four will be £325 per team plus vat and the cost for individuals will be £85 plus VAT per person. This includes:

Bacon Sandwich and coffee/Tea on arrival
18 Holes of golf
Evening meal served after golf
Presentation of prizes to the winners on the day.

The Company Team Challenge will be a four ball format whereby the best two scores on each hole will score and on all par three holes all four scores will count. The overall winning team across the two days’ play will be invited to the IAAF’s Annual Dinner in December and will be presented with their prizes.

Various sponsorship opportunities are available, these are:

Longest Drive £100 + cost of trophy (c. £50) (Worsley Park only)
Nearest the Pin £100 + cost of trophy (c. £50) (Worsley Park only)
Golf Ball and Tee Sponsor £100 + cost of golf balls and tees (sold out)
Light Refreshment Sponsor £100

Joe Richardson is once again kindly organising these events on behalf of the IAAF and BEN and, if you need any further details, you can contact him on 07831 855829 or the IAAF Office.

You can download a leaflet and booking form here: 2017-Golf-Brochure.
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Ben Cricket Day – Last few spaces left!

Happy Friday to all you budding cricketers.

We are delighted to confirm that the teams are filling up nicely for this year’s BEN Cricket Day, and it’s great to see some new names amongst the players!
There are still however spaces available, and there is always space for spectators to come along and cheer on your favourite team.

The date of the event is Thursday 22nd June 2017, and the venue is Dorridge Cricket Club.

The event this year is, again kindly being sponsored by FPS Distribution, one of the industry’s most respected organisations. The event is being organised by Elliott Seal of Autoparts & Diagnostics and Emma Barrs from SJ Events, who have both donated their time free of charge to raise valuable funds for BEN. As in previous years, the IAAF will be heartily backing the event to maximise its support across the industry. It’s always been a fantastic day, with lots of food, drink, laughter and of course, games of cricket!

If you are interested in supporting this event, be it as a player, umpire, spectator or sponsor – please feel free to contact emma@sjevents.co.uk for further details!

Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to seeing you on the day!

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Exol forms partnership with Aston University

Exol Lubricants is partnering with Aston University on its career and placements programme, offering students insight into the independent automotive aftermarket and lubricants sector.

The collaboration will offer the company the opportunity to build solid relationships with future industry professionals while also promoting the Exol brand, work ethic and principles.

For example, Exol is a recognised user of the waterways, leading the oil and lubricants market by investing in the environmentally-friendly alternative to transport large loads. This is part of the company’s larger strategy to reduce its carbon footprint: something it is keen to promote to students.

Aston University has acquired an excellent reputation among top employers, seeking out established businesses that will allow students to develop and progress as individuals.

The institution was recently ranked 2nd in the UK for teaching quality and aspires to be the country’s leading university for industry and the professions. Aston places a strong emphasis on the value of work experience and is aiming to have 100 per cent of undergraduates enrolled on work placements by 2020.

Steve Dunn, Exol Lubricant’s Sales Director, said: “We’re confident that these placements will enable students to experience first-hand everyday activities in the oil & lubricants sector, equipping them with the skills to tackle any potential hurdles head on when they graduate. We will work closely alongside Aston University to support students throughout their placements and provide them with a comprehensive look into the world of business, helping them to fully prepare for the future.”

Exol is the largest independent lubricants company in the UK, manufacturing and supplying a range of lubricants and associated products to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural, industrial, off highway and railway sectors from its bulk-blending plant in Rotherham.

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A fresh new look for EuroFlo!

EuroFlo is powering up its brand and concept. The current branding served them well and has been marketed extensively, as will the new branding, but EuroFlo now feels it is now time for a new look of their continued evolution. The mission was to retain the core elements of the existing branding, while at the same time linking it to the factory in Portugal and to the product in a fresh modern way symbolising the plans and developments for the future.

The key design change in the new EuroFlo branding is the new style red F which links to their Portuguese Fabriscape factory. This element will also appear in the stamping of their product in the future.

The colours were carefully chosen for the new brand so as to create versions that work well on both blue and white backgrounds, as shown below. The Blue and White both link to the existing EuroFlo branding while the new featured red is taken from the flag of Portugal, the home of their ISO 9001 TUV Certified manufacturing facility.

EuroFlo will be using up existing stocks of marketing materials, but from this point on all new marketing will carry the new branding, with the website to be updated very shortly. The new branding will be featured on product labels for exhausts, catalysts and DPFs on all new production over the coming weeks. The EuroFlo Fittings packaging will evolve to the new brand in time based on stocks levels.

The new look exhaust label has also been redesigned to accommodate barcoding, a new feature for EuroFlo Exhausts, Catalysts and DPFs, this being a request from stockist feedback.

For more information please visit www.EuroFlo.co.uk or www.mwd.uk.com

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Team P R Reilly joins ECP as part of the LKQ family

Euro Car Parts, an LKQ company, has announced that it has acquired the business of Team P R Reilly, a leading, family-owned, car parts, accessories and bodyshop business based out of Dublin, Ireland, and Karkraft (N.I.) Limited of Belfast, UK, a paint and collision repair supply specialist. The agreement expands Euro Car Parts’ operations across Ireland, with a key focus on enhancing product availability, further improving delivery times and expanding into new market sectors.

ECP’s CEO Martin Gray

Euro Car Parts CEO, Martin Gray, said: “A strong track record, significant market expertise and a cultural approach so like our own, meant that the opportunity to work alongside Norbert Reilly and the senior management team at Team P R Reilly was not to be missed. We immediately felt that we had the same goal in mind: to deliver exceptional customer service, keep the independent aftermarket competitive and support the industry in developing its own profile. Over the coming months, we will share best practices and take advantage of the opportunities to learn from one another across market sectors and distribution channels.”

Gray continued: “We are particularly excited about leveraging our global sourcing network to equip our customer partners with unparalleled choice of mechanical and collision parts, paint and specialist equipment.”

UK Chairman and LKQ Board Member, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Team P R Reilly colleagues to the family and the next stage of the incredible Euro Car Parts journey. Team P R Reilly has a heritage stretching back more than 75 years and we have a duty to our customers, partners, employees and suppliers to ensure that we build relationships that will lead to sustainable and considerable growth. Everyone has a part to play in our ambitious growth plans and I look forward to working with the senior team to support their strategic direction and leadership.”

Following the acquisition, the senior Team P R Reilly management team remains in place while the company’s more than 150 employees will benefit from professional opportunities and training across LKQ Corporation’s global platform, which employs more than 40,000 people worldwide.

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Comline celebrates with Redditch United FC as The Reds officially open their new home

Proud sponsor Comline Auto Parts (Comline) was part of an excited crowd on a sun-drenched Spring afternoon, as The TRICO Stadium, home of Redditch United Football Club, was officially opened.

Guests of honour – Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch – joined Club Chairman, Chris Swan, and representatives from both Comline and TRICO on a day where the Evo-Stik League Southern side officially unveiled its new state-of-the-art floodlit 3G pitch, revamped changing rooms and main stand – now officially ‘The Comline Stand’.

Comline, the award-winning distributor of European, Japanese and Korean components, is a major partner of Redditch United Football Club and has pledged its support to the Club’s ambitious project of climbing the football ladder.

As part of this agreement with the Club, Comline has become the named sponsor of the main stand and houses not only the player changing rooms but Directors Box, conference and banqueting facilities, too.

During the official opening, various youth teams showed off their skills on the immaculate new surface, eager to impress onlookers – which included Redditch United Manager and former Gillingham, Rotherham and Walsall forward, Darren Byfield.

Redditch United hopes the £900,000 facility will inspire the creation of another 17 local teams and for its 3G to become a grassroots hub for youth teams based in and around the native area.

While promotion has escaped The Reds this term, the Club is full of optimism for the 2017-2018 season and hopes to mount a realistic promotion challenge. One thing is certain, the team will be well supported from the comfort of The Comline Stand by its army of loyal fans.

Marketing and Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, pointed to the significant investment being made in the Club and the parallels with Comline:
“Take one look at the quality of this new facility and the magnificent 3G surface and it’s clear to see this is a Club with huge ambition and a determination to succeed.

“From my first visit to The Valley, or The TRICO Stadium as it is now, the synergy between Redditch United and Comline was evident – it’s fantastic that two such forward-thinking, focused and driven organisations have come together to work in partnership.

“Everyone here at Comline is excited to be on this journey with Redditch United, and we’re right behind the Club in its push for promotion next season.”
Redditch United Chairman, Chris Swan, paid tribute to Comline for trusting the Club’s vision of climbing the football ladder and building a grassroots hub for the local community.

He said: “Redditch United is a Club that is ready to progress and move forward, thanks to our key sponsors, like Comline. It’s a company that supports our long-term project and vision – in terms of improving our league position and academy.

“Off the pitch, I hope our supporters will create a thunderous atmosphere from the comfort of the new Comline Stand, inspiring the players on it.”

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Automechanika Birmingham is recognised for excellence with two industry accolades!

Automechanika Birmingham has won two industry awards for the hugely successful launch of the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain in 2016.

Winning two accolades at the eleventh Exhibition News Awards, on Thursday 30th March, the Automechanika Birmingham team proudly took to the stage to collect the awards for expanding the Automechanika brand and for the best UK trade show newcomer. Automechanika Birmingham was the only event to win two awards.

The 2016 show was sold out in six months before the doors opened and welcomed over 12000 visitors through the doors to see over 550 exhibitors from the aftermarket and supply chain.

Simon Albert, Event Director said “The awards are a testament to the hard work and support of our exhibitors, visitors, partners, and the event team. We’d like to thank everyone involved making Automechanika Birmingham happen last year but now our focus is fully on 2017 where we have grown from three to five halls with over 800 exhibitors, introduced a new dedicated supply chain zone, new live demonstrations, more expert speakers and longer opening times! We look forward to welcoming everyone from 6-8 June 2017 at the NEC”

For more information, head to www.automechanika-birmingham.com

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Ben Blog: How to manage on a fluctuating income

Whether you work in a job which pays commission or you are self-employed, fluctuation in income can make it hard for anyone to make any future plans.

Ben is often contacted by people whose unpredictable income has caused them to struggle with managing money, become unable to keep up with their repayments, and get into unmanageable debt.

But, there are ways to plan ahead by reducing stress and uncertainty that comes with living with a fluctuating income, without spiralling out of control.

Back to basics
Work out the monthly minimum amount needed. Calculate spending each month on priority debts, these include:

  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utility bills
  • Council tax
  • Arrears

Look through bank statements and work out grocery and transport costs. Also, look at how many times money was withdrawn from ATMs. This will soon add up! Be honest with yourself about how much you spend.

Average income
Next, go through your bank statements and look at how much you earned each month.

Work out an average by adding all your wages together and dividing them by the number of months. For example, if you earned…

£600 in February
£550 in March
£800 in April

…you would add those figures together and divide by three. The more months of pay you can factor in, the more accurate your result will be.

This average is the target you should try to budget to. If it’s smaller than your basic expenses then look to see if you can cut anything back or – if you’re struggling to pay bills and are getting into debt – call our helpline on 08081 311 333.

Extra expenses
Now you know how much you have available each month and how much will go towards everyday expenses, you can sort out the extra costs.

So now work out how much you spend each month on extras:

  • Entertainment subscriptions, such as Sky or Netflix
  • Mobile phone bills
  • Gym membership
  • Clothes shopping
  • Eating out/takeaways
  • Hobbies.

Again, be very honest with yourself about how much you spend on each.

Remember to look at various websites and compare prices for broadband, mobile, insurance, utilities and clothing. Learn to shop smartly, as every little helps.

If the total is more than your budget then look at what you can cut back, for example limiting nights out or getting a cheaper phone. If you’re paying for membership or subscriptions, consider how often you use them and if it’s worth cancelling.

Get saving
If you don’t already have a savings account, consider getting one. Having a separate account without a card linked to it will reduce any spending temptation.

If you spend under your budget, then think about putting the leftover amount into your savings. You could even budget to save extra each month to help cover large expenses such as repairs to your car.

Every month when your pay check comes in, have a look at the amount. If it’s a high-earning month, then leave the amount that you have budgeted for in your main account and move the rest into your savings. If you have earned less, top it up to your budget level using the amount from your savings account.

This way, profitable months will help you to stay afloat during the leaner times. It will also enable you to plan ahead as, in effect; your pay will stay at this average.

Keep tabs on your earnings
If you find that you’re dipping into your savings pot more than you’re putting in, then start the process again.

It’s a good idea to revisit your budget every six months or so to make sure you’re keeping on track.

Stick to it
Sticking to a budget can be tough, but there are tools to help you like free budgeting apps such as Expense Manager for Android or iPhone.

If you go over budget one month work out why you couldn’t stick to it and see how you can do improve during the next month. You can find more tips on budgeting in our downloadable helpsheet.

We’re here
If you’re struggling to make ends meet– we’re here for you. You can contact us through our web chat or call our free and confidential support line on 08081 311 333.

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