posted Mar 4, 2013, 11:53 AM by Thor Fornica
updated Mar 4, 2013, 11:57 AM
The intent for communicating with you is to document the position of Sunoco Race Fuels as it applies to the recent fuel rule mandates that have been issued for the upcoming 2013 SCORE Schedule and to rectify any misconceptions that may have been conveyed on the internet through blogs, websites, or other public forums. Before I do this, on behalf of the employees of Sunoco Race Fuels, our distributors and their authorized dealers, I would like to thank you for the past five years where you accepted us as the Official Fuel of SCORE. Whether you used our fuel or not, my hope is that Sunoco assisted in elevating the level of professionalism in the series and played a part in furthering the vision of SCORE’s previous management.
Each year since 2006, the previous management of SCORE and Sunoco Race Fuels discussed the possibility of a spec fuel in the series. Although we agreed that Sunoco was the right company to partner with when the time was right, it was determined that the series was not yet ready for a spec fuel rule. Sunoco respected SCORE’s position and in 2008 agreed to become the Official Fuel. We were pleased with our position, but yes, having a spec fuel arrangement was our ultimate goal when the time was appropriate.
When the sale of SCORE was announced, a meeting was arranged with the new management of the series. There was no confusion on the part of SCORE or Sunoco Race Fuels that the intent of the meeting was to discuss our Official Fuel designation and to review the merits of a spec fuel relationship. As a result of that meeting on January 29th, we were told that a spec fuel deal may not be the best direction “at this time”, but would be considered after Sunoco had the opportunity to return to its headquarters, review the opportunity, solicit the participation of our Branded Marketing and Advertising Department, and consult Octagon, our sports marketing partner. Our intent was to formulate a proposal that leveraged our position in motorsports and enhance the exposure of SCORE and their participants via television, radio, retail, social media, at-event, and other mutually beneficial activation opportunities. Consistent with this type of relationship, Sunoco was prepared to propose rights fees and participant awards that would be commensurate with the relationship.
In addition to proposing a spec fuel for SCORE, Sunoco was instructed to propose a relationship whereby we would be an “Approved Fuel” for both SCORE and HDRA, but that we would share this category with two other race fuel brands. Although Sunoco did not want to relinquish the Official Fuel of SCORE (non-spec), we agreed that we would also forward a separate proposal for this reduced relationship. Our commitment was to forward both proposals to SCORE within two weeks of the date of our meeting.
Prior to the date that the proposals were due to SCORE, Sunoco was made aware by a Sunoco Race Fuels distributor that SCORE had announced they had appointed a third party as the sole fuel supplier permitted to supply fuel at SCORE events. When Sunoco contacted SCORE to verify this decision, we were told that it was true and that this sole supplier would offer Sunoco Race Fuels in addition to two other competing brands. When asked about Auto Sports Baja (Bill and Terri Rodriguez), the authorized Sunoco Race Fuels dealer who has professionally represented us in SCORE for the duration of our relationship with SCORE, we were informed that SCORE management was not pleased with Auto Sports Baja’s services or business practices and preferred the services of the sole fuel supplier they selected.
The final misrepresentation of the facts that warrant specific clarification is that Sunoco; I in particular, agreed to this decision by SCORE and was willing to move forward with the arrangements as mandated by SCORE. I did participate in a very brief three-way telephone call with SCORE and the appointed fuel supplier, but not with a representative of VP Race Fuel as reported in an internet live stream segment. My direction to the appointed fuel supplier was to establish communication with Paul Oil, Sunoco’s distributor for Mexico and Western United States. If they could determine a way that Auto Sports Baja could remain in the distribution chain, Sunoco would support the fuel supply mandate and contribute in a proportionate manner to the rights and contingency fees. In fact, an e-mail was sent to SCORE indicating this and specifically identified the rights fee to be paid. Paul Oil and the appointed fuel supplier could not come to an agreement to keep Auto Sports Baja involved so as a result Sunoco was not willing to participate as an approved fuel for the 2013 schedule for either SCORE or HDRA.
Sunoco values and is committed to our authorized distribution network. In addition to the unequaled quality products we manufacture and the highly successful marketing relationships we enjoy with all forms of motorsports, it is the companies and people who represent us throughout the world that make us who we are. Sunoco appreciates their partnership and will stand by them during times of adverse circumstances.
Credits 100%: Rob Marro, General Manager - Sunoco Race Fuels