Support from FAZZT team sponsors ensures Bruno Junqueira makes it to the grid at Indianapolis Increased support from loudspeaker specialists Bowers & Wilkins has ensured that the second FAZZT entry of Bruno Junqueira will be on the grid for the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500. The extension to also sponsor the #33 Junqueira car follows the spectacular qualifying result of the #77 Bowers & Wilkins car, driven by Alex Tagliani who secured a second row grid spot for the race.
It had seemed that sponsorship difficulties would prevent Junqueira from making the start but FAZZT’s existing sponsors upped their commitment to make it happen. Despite the late decision and very limited running, Junqueira achieved an average lap speed of 225.662mph to line up 25th, with pace that would have seen him fighting for pole. Junqueiras’ effort also earned him the Red Gold “Red Zone” award, a $10,000 prize presented to the entrant with the best single lap time on Bump Day. “First I have to thank Bowers & Wilkins and TorcUP of Canada for stepping up at the last minute to make this possible,” says Junqueira. “They stepped up last minute when I didn’t get the money and said, ‘No, you are part of the team, and we want to help your car, as well.’ So they made it possible.”
The agreement with the FAZZT team is part of an on-going partnership that started with the Brazilian Sao Paulo Indy 300. Motorsport provides the right profile to increase awareness of the Bowers & Wilkins brand as it expands into new markets such as automotive and new media (iPod dock, headphones etc.). Demographics tie in well with the desired customer base and it provides a new arena beyond the traditional luxury audio promotional avenues the firm has relied upon.
The two brands share the commitment to uphold quality and performance through innovation, technology, passion and research and therefore are an obvious link. Together with Bowers & Wilkins’ partnership with Jaguar Cars to be the premium sound system provider for their entire line of vehicles, automotive is becoming another source of brand awareness for the legendary hi-fi loudspeaker manufacturer.
Motorsport is a very harsh environment requiring durable products that offer genuine performance for extended periods of time, which is an area where Bowers & Wilkins believes it can learn from motorsport.Like the FAZZT race team, Bowers & Wilkins runs a separate research establishment. Here, engineers isolated from the commercial constraints of a manufacturing environment, focus on innovation and finding performance gains.
Bowers & Wilkins is already using many materials and technologies found on the IndyCar. Micro Matrix technology – a metal honeycomb structure that is extremely light and stiff was inspired by lightweight performance car structures in the automotive sector. Rohacell, used for its excellent lightweight/stiffness ratio is also found in both motorsport and Bowers & Wilkins’ products. The passion to extract the best performance from a material has even led to Bowers & Wilkins developing a process believed to be unique, for forming Rohacell purely to meet the precise requirements of the sound engineer. Kevlar, and its ability to dissipate energy have made the technology widely used; in motorsport it offers impact protection whilst it is also ideally suited as the cones of the firm’s speaker lines such as the 800 Series Diamond. The yellow composite is a Bowers & Wilkins signature, part of the DNA and is a prominent feature of the Jaguar premium car audio systems.
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