Vertu Motors



Bristol Street Motors has secured the title sponsorship for the Virtual Grand National and the Race of Champions.

The business will be credited as sponsors within ITV’s coverage of the races on April 9th and 10th - Virtual Grand National sponsored by Bristol Street Motors and Grand National Race of Champions sponsored by Bristol Street Motors.

The unique deal includes:

  • Bristol Street Motors to have the sponsorship of the programme title.
  • Bristol Street Motors will also be race sponsor of the Virtual Grand National
  • Bristol Street Motors will also be race sponsor for the Grand National Race of Champions – including greatest National winners, in a virtual race, and in 2021 a special tribute to Bob Champion and Aldaniti on the 40th anniversary of their famous victory.

The Virtual Grand National is a computer-simulated version of Aintree's world-famous steeplechase, and the unique TV format was created by Carm Productions, in association with Inspired Entertainment and the Jockey Club.

It uses computer-generated imagery (CGI) to recreate, as accurately as possible, all aspects of the race such as the course layout and National fences. The programme will first air on ITV4 at 8pm on Friday 9th April, and 1pm on Saturday April 10th on ITV (main channel) + ITV Hub.

It will use the latest CGI technology and algorithms to produce a result based on data, including the runners' form and going preferences.

In 2020 the Virtual Grand National, which replaced the actual race due to Covid restrictions, saw peak viewing figures of 4.8million and a 30 percent share of viewing media. Highlights and news attracted an additional 12million viewers, with major coverage across all TV channels. Social media interest is also expected to be huge, with a reach last year of more than 25 million. This year it will complement coverage of the actual race, which is being held at Aintree, albeit sadly without a crowd.

The Virtual Grand National, which has been screened since 2017, also became a huge fundraiser for NHS Charities Together, raising more than £3million for NHS Charities and 300,000 Euro for medical charities in Ireland.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Bristol Street Motors, said: “This is a significant opportunity to put Bristol Street Motors at the forefront of a major televised sporting event.

“The Virtual Grand National and Race of Champions have captured the public’s imagination over the last few years as well as raising huge sums of money for charity through the generosity of everyone involved.

“Sponsorship is an exciting form of marketing that reaps significant rewards and awareness. The partnership with Channel 4’s coverage of F1 has been very successful and we expect this link up to be equally effective in driving brand awareness for Bristol Street Motors.”

Rob McLoughlin OBE from Carm Productions said “We are delighted to welcome Bristol Street Motors onboard for this exciting and unpredictable event. We hope it will bring as much joy and entertainment to the nation as it did in 2020.”



CONTACT: Caroline Walker on 01325 363436

Notes to editors:

Vertu Motors plc (which trades under the Bristol Street Motors, Macklin Motors, Vertu Toyota, Vertu Honda, Vertu Volkswagen, Vertu Mercedes-Benz, Vertu Kia, Vertu BMW, Vertu MINI and Farnell Jaguar Land Rover brands) was formed in late 2006 to acquire and consolidate UK motor retail businesses. The group was founded as a new entrant into the UK motor retail sector and is listed on the AIM market (UK:VTU).

In 2017, the Group became the first major UK motor retailer to offer customers the ability to purchase a used vehicle entirely online with the launch of Bristol Street Motors Buy Online. The platform enables customers to buy a used vehicle in as little as five minutes if they have the funds in place, arrange financial packages if they don’t, and have the vehicle delivered to any UK mainland home address.

Since flotation in December 2006, the Group has established itself as a major player in the United Kingdom automotive retail sector. The Group currently operates 144 franchised sales outlets and 4 non-franchised sales operations, representing 32 manufacturers, from 115 locations across the UK.

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The Virtual Grand National
The Virtual Grand National
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