Porsche star is headed for Pattaya
By Edd Ellison
Motorsport has always been very popular in Pattaya. For the last three decades Thailand’s main racetrack, Bira International Circuit, has been the hub of motorsport here, and it’s just inland from the city. It’s no exaggeration to say that Pattaya is the hub of Thai motorsport. But in the last few years the popularity of the sport has exploded and it’s growing in appeal.
You know that’s motorsport is on an upward curve when a company like Dunkin’ Donuts decides to splash its name all over a racing car – and is then happy to say it’s getting value from the association.
And that’s exactly the case here. In fact a flashy recent mall launch signaled the arrival of Dunkin Donuts as the title sponsor of Painkiller Racing’s #60 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in Thailand Super Series this year and the striking black and pink car was an immediate hit with passing shoppers.
This year driver Paul Kanjanapas has been stepping up the gears; he’s undertaking a full season in Super Car Class 2-GTM with the team’s #60 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup. Certainly in the ‘quick gentleman driver’ category, Paul has been making steady progress with his career and that trend has continued into this year as he scored championship points in both races at the first round of the season.
The Porsche is also wearing new colours this year, a striking blend of pink and black. That’s because Dunkin’ Donuts, which has been supporting Paul’s racing for a few years now, has stepped up it’s involvement to take over as the team’s title sponsor.
During the team’s official preview, Nadim Salhani, CEO of MudMan Group, which operates the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in Thailand, was present. He explained that it had been logical for them to raise their support for Painkiller Racing in Super Car Class 2-GTM this year as they already had a growing working relationship. “We’ve been doing a lot of work with Paul at Muang Thong Thani and he has been very supportive of the Dunkin’ brand at Impact,” he said.
So when the opportunity to title sponsor the #60 Porsche in Super Car Class 2-GTM arose it clearly presented an opportunity to be explored. “So we thought number one, that it’s good to continue the relationship, and number two, it’s interesting to get a new channel of business for us,” said Nadim.
“It’s an untapped channel of business for us, so when we started the racing, I think it’s the third or fourth year now, we found out we get a lot of PR out of this, so it’s interesting to us, it’s well spent marketing funds for us,” he added.
The promotional opportunities offered by the TSS platform, Thailand’s biggest, most professional and most glamorous motorsport championship, fits very well with the direction being taken by Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s one of constant evolution, explained Nadim. “Definitely, that’s what we’ve been trying to do for the last six years, to keep upgrading the brand,” he said. “So this is a channel of business where you have a specific market segment and it’s related to new projects coming up in the future and we will upgrade and have some new products so it fits everything that we’re trying to do for the future.”
It also fits well with the company’s operations locally. “We’ve been in Pattaya for a while and we’re expanding because there are a lot of new projects in Pattaya and it’s really happening,” he said. “Everything fits together with these races in Pattaya and as we do the PR we’re hoping the customer will eventually come to our stores.”
So expect to see the pink-and-black #60 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup commanding plenty of attention both on and off the track this year and ahead of the high profile visit by Thailand Super Series to Bira Circuit in September, expect to see the car making a splash in the heart of Pattaya.