Gulf Oil International is to run in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) as major sponsor and technical partner of both BMW manufacturer-backed squad, Althea BMW Racing and Milwaukee BMW.
The iconic oil giant will enter WSBK for the first time in its long history of Motorsport, in what will also be the maiden WorldSBK season for title sponsor Milwaukee and holding team Shaun Muir Racing.
“This is a very exciting time for the entire team, riders and sponsors. The final piece in the jigsaw has come together with the signing of Gulf. Obviously a partnership with a global lubes and fuels company is essential for any WorldSBK team, and we look forward to the benefits that working with Gulf and its products will bring,” said team principal Muir.
“The Gulf partnership – with fuel stations in 21 countries and lubricant business in over 100 countries – gives the team a truly global partnership and I feel we now have all the ingredients needed to mount a serious challenge in the World Superbike Championship. No one is underestimating the size of the challenge, but we are ready and we are focused. The guys have put in an enormous amount of hours and effort to get to this position, and we can’t wait to get on track now.”
The Althea team, which will continue to represent the German manufacturer in the ultra competitive world championship, moved to BMW in 2016 and has been the most successful representative of the marque in 2016. Althea has a long and successful history in SBK, having won numerous races in the series and it took rider and team World Superbike Championship crowns in 2011 with rider Carlos Checa. The team also took team and rider’s titles in World Superstock in the same year.
“We have been establishing an important relationship with BMW, through our World Superbike programme,” explains Frank Rutten, Vice President International, Gulf Oil.
”They are one of the world’s great vehicle manufacturers and it was a priority of ours to have a continuity of association with them – irrespective of what we might do with other teams.
I am delighted that Gulf is now in partnership with Althea Racing, who continue to have the support of BMW in World Superbikes. They have a great deal to offer as an addition to our global marketing platform and we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead in 2017.”
Althea Racing Director, Genesio Bevilacqua explains what it means to have Gulf as a partner: “I am extremely pleased about the collaboration between Althea BMW Racing Team and Gulf which will certainly represent a high-level technical cooperation. With the use of specific racing products we aim to achieve the maximum performance efficiency through our experience as a team in the World Championship, therefore research and development in collaboration with Gulf is very important. Next year we can definitely aspire to prestigious results.”