DECEMBER 23, 1996
Danka sponsors Arrows
DANKA BUSINESS SYSTEMS has agreed to become the title sponsor of Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team for at least the next two years.
Danka is an office machinery group which supplies photocopiers, facsimiles, and other automated office equipment in North America, Europe and Australia. It distributes for Konica, Minolta, Sharp and Canon. It has annual sales of $1.2b but has major expansion plans - notably in the Asia-Pacific area. As part of this expansion it is in the process of acquiring the office imaging businesses of Eastman Kodak for $684m. This will make Danka the principal distributor of Kodak-branded office copiers and printers worldwide with 22,000 employees in 32 countries.
Based in St Petersburg, Florida, Danka is run by Daniel M. Doyle, a big motorsports fan who has entered IMSA events with cars run by his own Dan Doyle Racing. Danka has been involved in IMSA sponsorship in recent years backing Jim Downing's Kudzu-Mazda team. This year it leapt to prominence by supporting the Riley & Scott Oldsmobile which won the DaytonaÊ24ÊHours and the Sebring 12 Hours. This led to an attempt to win the Le Mans 24 Hours although sportscar racing's "Triple Crown" - victory in the top three events of the season - escaped the team.
Arrows team sources say that there have been talks with British American Tobacco about a possible sponsorship deal involving Arrows and 555 State Express but that things have gone rather quiet in recent weeks. Arrows is now very well-funded with backing from Danka, Power Horse and Parmalat - with additional support from Bridgestone.
The new Arrows-Yamaha A18 - which will be driven in 1997 by Damon Hill and Pedro Diniz - will be unveiled in England on January 9.