All-new Mercedes-Benz Citan vans bearing the name of local dealer Rossetts Commercials played a high-profile role in the record-breaking Brighton Marathon.
They included two bright orange examples of the smallest commercial vehicle yet to wear a three-pointed star – one was fitted with the race timing board and led the runners over the 26-mile, 385-yard course, while another was on static display on the seafront, just before the finish line.
Meanwhile, a third Citan and a larger Mercedes-Benz Vito van headed a colourful cavalcade of scooters and motorcycles – evoking the seaside town’s ‘mods and rockers’ heritage – which also brought huge crowds out onto the streets.
They were among a fleet of 20 vans and trucks supplied by the Worthing-based dealer to race organiser The Grounded Events Company as part of a two-year sponsorship deal. Also included were 17-seat Sprinter Traveliner minibuses used to collect athletes and other VIP guests from Gatwick Airport, Sprinter 4×4 vans and 7.5-tonne Fuso Canter curtainsiders which provided logistical support.
Kenyan runners Dominic Kangor and Eunice Kales became the new Brighton Marathon champions in the men’s and women’s elite races respectively, both setting new course records in the fourth year of the race.
With over 9,000 competitors taking part, and in excess of 100,000 spectators lining the route, Rossetts Commercials secured massive coverage for the Mercedes-Benz and Fuso brands on race day (Sunday 14th April).
The dealer is also benefiting from its support for the event through television coverage on C4 and on British Eurosport and Sky Sports over the weeks to come, as well as on the Internet through channels like YouTube.
"Rossetts Commercials and Mercedes-Benz are a perfect fit for the Brighton Marathon," says Race Director Tim Hutchings, himself a former international athlete. "We have tried since our inaugural race to establish a perception of high quality delivery in every aspect of the event and the reputation of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso vehicles for reliability and their ability to get the job done is second to none."
Rossetts Commercials Van Sales Manager Mike Sanders adds: "The Brighton Marathon provided a perfect opportunity for us to promote the new Mercedes-Benz Citan. Like its established Vito stablemate, the Citan is designed to appeal not only to business users, but also to those seeking a stylish but spacious and practical vehicle for leisure use."
Launched in January, the Citan marks the entry of Mercedes-Benz into the small van market and leads the way in terms of fuel efficiency, achieving up to 65.7 mpg and producing CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km. It is available as a panel van in three lengths, as a Traveliner with folding rear bench seat allowing it to carry the driver and up to four passengers, or as a Dualiner with the same seating configuration plus a practical cargo space.
Rossetts Commercials represents the three-pointed star in Surrey and Sussex, and also has outlets in Aldershot, Crawley and Eastbourne. Dealer Principal Perry Reeves explains: "Brighton is now firmly established as one of the UK’s most popular and well organised marathons. It’s an event that enables local people to achieve extraordinary things, so as a company which takes great pride in playing an active role in the community we’re delighted to be a part of it."
Not that the Brighton Marathon is the only local event that Rossetts Commercials will be supporting this year. The dealer will be repeating last year’s successful appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (11th-14th July) and is also sponsoring the Shoreham Airshow (31st August-1st September). Rossetts will take stands too, at the British Showjumping Derby at Hickstead (19th-23rd June), Brighton’s Paddle Round The Pier (6th-7th July), Edenbridge & Oxted Show (25th-26th August) and Weald WoodFair at Bentley (20th-22nd September).