Minardi Cosworth today confirmed that Wilux Benelux has become title sponsor, with the Faenza-based team to be known officially as Wilux Minardi Cosworth during the 2004 Formula One season.

Wilux manufactures shower cubicles and baths for the medium- and top-class segments of the market, and is headquartered in the Netherlands, with design facilities in Italy.

The company first tasted the benefits of involvement with Formula One last season as a commercial partner of Minardi. An increase in Wilux sales of 40 per cent in 2003, however, and a measurable improvement in brand recognition registered during the same period, prompted Wilux managing director, Ruud Wildschut, to shift up a gear in terms of his company's F1 involvement for 2004.

"Sponsorship activities are nothing new for Wilux, as the company has been involved with motorcycle racing and Dutch Premier League football in recent years," observed Mr Wildschut. "Significantly, however, last year's co-operation with Minardi marked the first occasion that our company had been involved at the highest level of sports sponsorship - Formula One - and the results have been truly amazing.

"It is impossible to ignore the increased sales of Wilux products during the relatively short time we have been involved with Minardi, or the huge levels of goodwill that have very clearly been generated with our customers as a direct result of this sponsorship.

"Therefore, this increase in our commercial co-operation is a further logical step in the development of our relationship with Minardi. Having observed the team members at work first-hand, I can confirm that we believe 100 per cent in their capabilities and potential, and are pleased to continue to support them in their efforts."

Minardi team principal, Paul Stoddart, added: "It's extremely gratifying when a commercial partner demonstrates its faith in the team by not only renewing its support at the start of a new season, but increasing that support significantly. It suggests we must be doing something right.

"Wilux worked hard last year at leveraging its involvement with Minardi and F1, specifically by instigating an extensive programme of promotional activities based around its involvement with the team. We're very pleased that this contributed to a significant increase in Wilux sales globally, which has led directly to the company stepping up its involvement with the team. We're very proud of our new name for 2004, Wilux Minardi Cosworth, and the team will be doing its utmost to ensure Ruud Wildschut and his team at Wilux are equally proud of their involvement with Minardi over the coming year."

The Wilux 'water-droplet' logo, along with the now-famous 'Bathroom pleasure' slogan, will be positioned prominently on the Minardi Cosworth cars, as well as on the overalls and helmets of race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, plus official test driver, Bas Leinders.

Customers will continue to be able to take part in entertaining Wilux promotional activities surrounding each Grand Prix in 2004. Wilux Benelux has an annual turnover of some 60 million Euros, employs 180 staff and exports bathroom equipment to 28 countries worldwide.