It has been a valuable weekend for Gulf in its various motorsport endeavors – both on and off track.
World Superbike Championship – Thailand
In the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Thailand’s Chang Circuit, Gulf’s motorcycle racing partners, the BMW Manufacturer-backed squad, Team Milwaukee-BMW, showed exceptional pace at times over the weekend, but in the race found it difficult to get the optimum set up for the bikes, and so struggled to maintain the form they showed in qualifying.
Throughout free practice, the Milwaukee BMWs showed that they had found a definite increase in performance over the previous races in Philip Island. Having run close to the top ten in the first two sessions, in the third free practice session, Karel Abraham (pictured) stunned the established stars by setting the second quickest time – a superb achievement. .
In SuperPole 1 Karel moved on to compete in the team’s first SuperPole 2 session (to determine the grid order from 1-12) and Josh Brookes was but 2/1000ths shy of joining him, qualifying, therefore, a solid 13th.
Race 1 proved more of a test, however, as Josh was one of only two runners to choose hard tyres and, as a result, dropped back throug the race, finishing as last man in the points, in 15th. Karel had been running close to the top ten, but collided with another bike on the final lap and didn’t finish.
Race 2 saw both riders on soft tyres, but it was a similar story to Race 1. This time Josh ran close to the top ten, but it was Karel who came home with a point scoring finish in 15th, with Josh dropping out of the points on the final lap.
The bikes will now be packed up and returned to the UK, giving the time to regroup and develop the BMWs ahead of the next race, in Aragon in Spain in three weekend’s time.
Gulf’s debut in Formula E, at the Mexican race also showed some real promise with Portugal’s Antonio Felix da Costa showing well in qualifying, setting the seventh fastest time. Team Aguri’s other driver, local favourite Salvador Duran (pictured), qualified a respectable fifteenth.
However, the necessity of a gearbox change cost da Costa a ten-place grid penalty, which was therefore going to make getting a good result a real challenge. Both drivers, showed some form in the race, but a collision with another car loosened the nose of da Costa’s car, when a top ten finish looked possible and the resultant pitstop cost him any chance of a good result.
Salvador Duran also flirted with a top twelve place lapping within half a second of the pace of race winner Jerome d’Ambrosio, but ultimately he was bested by Former F1 star, Nelson Piquet Jr and Ex Indycar racer, Mike Conway, and finished 15th.
Gulf Oil International’s first foray into electric motorsport came as part of the launch of Gulf as a fuel brand in Mexico, so while the results on the track might have been better, overall the weekend was a great success for new fuel licensee, IF Vertical 2, who now join existing lubricants distributor for Mexico, JJ Lubricantes in developing and marketing the Gulf Brand in the country.
Updates about all of Gulf's activities and products can be found on the Gulf Facebook page: www.facebook.com/gulfoilinternational as well, of course, as on the Gulf Oil International website: www.gulfoilltd.com
AN IMPORTANT WEEKEND FOR GULF – ON AND OFF TRACK
Thailand & Mexico