How it all began . . .
Castrol, a part of the BP group, became involved in motorcycle racing soon after organised competition began in the early 1900s. The official Motorcycle championship would not begin until 1949, but the world’s most famous brand of oil was there in the thick of things more than 30 years before.
In 1909 Castrol was involved in the ‘Inauguration Cup’ (the first aviation prize to be awarded in Britain) supplying lubricants for many of the popular aviators, including Amy Johnson and her husband, Jim Mollison. In 1914 Castrol began supporting the World Land Speed Record, sponsoring famous names such as Major Seagrave, Captain Eyston and Malcolm Campbell. BP began supplying fuels for the land speed record attempts in 1924.
BP and Castrol provided: technical advice, fuels and lubricants for racing teams and sponsored various teams, drivers and vehicles. In 1932 Castrol financed the building of ‘Miss England III’ for Kaye Don to break the World Water Speed Record. Although two independent companies at the time, BP and Castrol were still linked through names such as Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio: one supplying the motor spirit, one supplying the lubricants.
As motor cars, motorcycles, aircraft and motor boats became faster and more powerful, so the demand for better fuels and lubricants increased. This winning combination of BP fuels and Castrol lubricants was used by many in the motor sport community including Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon when they won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.
In 1984 Castrol began sponsorship of the NHRA Drag Racing series and its name became synonymous with success winning 102 outright race victories, 6 world championships and 12 triumphs in the prestigious ‘bonus’ events. The result was such a success that Team Castrol became the most successful team in NHRA history and 6 out the top 16 all time winners were drivers from Team Castrol.
The legacy continues . . .
In 2003/4 BP and Castrol re-enforced their strong partnership with the sponsorship of the two Ford cars in the World Rallying Championship. Castrol continues to support teams in: Formula 1, MotorGP and World Superbikes, World Rally Championships, World Touring Car Championships, Drag Racing and local sponsorship.
The BPVL collection boasts hundreds of motor sport-related films. From Grand Prix, to TT, from Malcolm and Donald Campbell’s land and water speed record attempts, to rallying and specialised technical films.
For a full history of Castrol’s involvement in motor sports visit: www.castrol.com