The Wales Rally GB will save over 36,000 batteries from going to landfill thanks to an 'innovative' new sponsorship deal with leading batteries manufacturer Varta, organisers announced on Monday.

As part of the plan all 4,500 event marshals will be provided with a wind-up torch for use at this year's event, the final round in the World Rally Championship, which has been awarded CarbonNeutral event status.

"The partnership is part of Wales Rally GB's commitment to build a more sustainable future for motorsport," read a statement to the press. "As well as saving the batteries from going to landfill, using the Dynamo Light torch will save on battery packaging, not just for the duration of Wales Rally GB but for the continued life of the torch after the event, as no further batteries will be needed."

The link with Wales Rally GB is an ideal opportunity for Varta to contribute to the event's programme of sustainability which is being launched this year.

It will also demonstrate the durability and practicality of the torch and encourage a more 'eco friendly' future, not just for the event but for the 140,000 plus spectators that it attracts.

The model, which is hard-wearing and waterproof, is an ideal solution for the volunteer marshals who are located outside in the Welsh forests, enduring the harsh British winter weather and dark afternoons, to ensure the safety of spectators and participants. Plus, the torch only needs to be wound up for one minute to generate enough power for thirty minutes of light.

"I am delighted that Wales Rally GB has been supported by Varta and it has come on board as one of our official suppliers," said Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser International Motor Sports Ltd.

"It is important to us that we continue to reduce Wales Rally GB's impact on the environment, so saving over 36,000 batteries by using the wind-up torches is a hugely positive development for 2008.

"The Dynamo Light is perfect for the event's volunteer marshals, they do such a sterling job and without them the event wouldn't be able take place. The wind-up torches are our gift to say thank you to the marshals and a great way to reduce the event's carbon footprint."

"To replace battery-powered torches with wind-up alternatives has a number of benefits - both environmental and cost saving - so I am really glad we have been able to find such a great use for our product," added Vince Armitage, divisional vice-president, Varta Consumer Batteries UK.

"The marshals will not have to worry about being caught out without spare batteries and the LED lights will be so useful in the forest stages this winter, ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the event.

"What's more, removing the need for batteries will reduce a significant amount of waste from going to landfill."

The Dynamo Light from Varta will be available for purchase in leading retailers this October and from the Wales Rally GB Service Park, located at the SA1 Swansea Waterfront development.