Player's pulls out of motorsport

Player's, the cigarette brand that has supported Canadian motorsport for the past 42 years, will "reluctantly" cease all its programmes at the end of this season, in compliance with the nation's federal ban on tobacco sponsorship coming into force on October 1. The withdrawal will include its co-ownership (with Gerald Forsythe) of US-based Team Player's in the Champ Car World Series, Imperial Tobacco Canada president Bob Bexon confirmed in Toronto yesterday

Player's pulls out of motorsport

Canadian government legislation introduced in 1997 set down various restrictions on tobacco companies, including the upcoming sponsorship ban. "The Tobacco Act is currently under appeal by the three major Canadian tobacco manufacturers," noted Mr Bexon. "However, we have no choice [in the interim] but to withdraw from motorsport sponsorship. We are taking our leave with a great deal of reluctance and sadness, but we do so with considerable pride in what has been accomplished in the last 42 years."

The Player's brand sponsored the 1961 Player's 200 at Mosport Park, the first international race in Canada. It sponsored the inaugural F1 Canadian GP in 1967, and helped to introduce the national Formula Atlantic series in 1974. Later it sponsored the CART fixtures in Toronto and Vancouver, and formed its partnership with Forsythe Racing in 1994 to run Jacques Villeneuve.


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