Gulf Sport Edition 12 Page

TWO YEARS ON...

Though much of Europe seems still to be in the grip of a snowy Spring, in other parts of the world Summer is still very much in evidence and Gulf’s 2018 Sporting programme already has some notable performances and additions over last year, on which we will report in this Gulf Sport.

Our partnership with Manchester United is now just over two years old and it was about this time in 2016 when representatives of sporting and lubricant media gathered at MUFC’s Carrington training ground to witness the launch of the partnership between Gulf and the world’s number one football brand.

It was a noteworthy occasion for both brands because, with the global partnership, Gulf launched another industry-first initiative. Frank Rutten and Manchester United’s then Commercial Director, Jamie Reigle were joined by members of United’s first team squad – including Club and National Team Captain, Wayne Rooney together with some true Legends of Manchester – and football in general – amongst them, Dennis Law (one of the trio immortalised in statue form in front of the Old Trafford Stadium) and another former Club and England Team Captain, Bryan Robson.

The media coverage the partnership launch generated was stratospheric and matters were further enhanced when Gulf Brand Ambassador, Indian Cricketing Legend, MS Dhoni revealed by video link that he too was an avid Manchester United fan and was incredibly excited about Gulf joining forces with the team he had supported all his life. His revelation sent Indian social media into a flurry and was India’s number one post on twitter for more than a day.

We had also just commenced Gulf’s first foray into the high-octane arena of World Superbikes with the launch, a few days earlier, of Gulf’s Technical Partnership with BMW’s manufacturer supported squad, Milwaukee BMW. By Year Two that had grown into a partnership with two manufacturer supported teams: BMW, in the shape of the Althea BMW squad, were joined by Aprilia, as Milwaukee BMW morphed into Milwaukee Aprilia – the Italian bike manufacturer’s full factory World Superbike Championship team.

Two years on and Gulf has established a real place in the sport. Gulf has an impressive presence in the paddock – to the extent where Gulf is now collaborating with championship organisers, Dorna as a technical supplier to one of their other championships. Both BMW and Aprilia teams have become habitual top ten race finishers and have long threatened a podium finish, which hopefully will come to fruition this season.

United in the meanwhile, have won three trophies – the FA Cup and League Cup in England and, in Europe last season, the Europa League.

It is easy to regard these partnerships – together with Gulf’s continuing World Endurance/Le Mans racing commitment and the other sports Gulf invests in – as simply another element in Gulf’s overall offer to the market. However, we should never lose sight of the fact that each of these programs is something incredibly special – something many other lubricant and fuel brands do not have in their armoury – and the major investment it takes simply to be there, is something that the Brand’s stakeholders have willingly undertaken. It behoves us therefore to look at all of the opportunities they offer and use them to the full, to the benefit of our businesses and our business.

2018 is of course, a landmark year in Gulf Sporting history as we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gulf’s first win at the Le Mans 24 Hours. However, as will be seen in this edition, 2018 also sees some exciting new sporting initiatives for Gulf, all of which means that this year has the makings of being even better than the previous two years.

Let’s make the most of what is on offer and make sure this comes about.

Wishing you good sport and great business!

 

AMBITIOUS PROGRAMME FOR GULF RACING

Gulf Racing unveiled their new Porsche 911 RSR at last weekend’s World Endurance Championship Prologue at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard.

The new car is the latest model endurance racer from Porsche and the first 911 to be mid-engined, rather than using the rear-engine configuration that the 911 model has been famous for, over the course of its more-than-50 year history.

The new blue and orange machine is wider and lower-looking than its predecessor and it sounded even better than it looks, howling down the long straights of the Paul Ricard track.

“It’s a bit of a beast…” enthused Gulf Racing team owner, Mike Wainwright. The car, which he will share with Ben Barker and newcomer, New Zealander, Alex Davison, headed the time sheets in GTE Am throughout most of the two day test session. Mike was quick to point out, however, that the organisers will try to make things as even as possible across all of the competition – which this year is more intense than ever – by adjusting the Balance of Performance between the Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins.

Gulf Racing have just taken delivery of a second Porsche from the factory and will run in selected LMES races across Europe as well as in the WEC.

The opening race of the season is three weeks from now at the famous Spa track in Belgium, on Saturday 5th May.

www.fiawec.com

For more information about Gulf opportunities over the WEC SuperSeason, which runs from May 2018 – June 2019 and takes in Belgium, UK, China, Japan, USA and two Le Mans 24 Hours, contact: rachit.kapoor@gulfoilltd.com

GULF & TAG HEUER CELEBRATE NEW PARTNERSHIP AT STAR-STUDDED GENEVA LAUNCH

Gulf was prominent at the recent Geneva Motor Show, for the launch of the new, multi-year watch partnership between Gulf Oil International and leading watch brand, TAG Heuer.

Sanjay Hinduja, together with other members of the Hinduja family and Frank Rutten, joined the likes of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, Red Bull Racing boss, Christian Horner, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer at the launch of the new Gulf edition Monaco watch from TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer’s CEO, Jean-Claude Biver exchanged gifts with Gulf and liked the Gulf Racing Helmet so much that he wore it for the remainder of the photo shoot. On entering the TAG Heuer pavilion, visitors were greeted by the original Gulf blue and orange race car, the 1967 Mirage M1 kindly loaned by the ROFGO Collection.

The car found favour with everyone and none more so than Jack Heuer who brought Gulf together with the watch brand almost 50 years ago when they sponsored Swiss race ace, Jo Siffert who was driving for the Gulf JW Automotive team.

More Gulf TAG Heuer watches will follow over the coming months and further details of the new Gulf edition Monaco are available from: paul.menezes.wr@gulfoil.co.in

MANCHESTER UNITED HEADING TOWARDS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-QUALIFYING SEASON FINISH

With the English Premier League season heading into its latter stages, Manchester United’s season is set to provide them with an improved finishing position compared to the previous season.

United currently lie second in the EPL, some 13 points behind Manchester City, four ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham and fourteen ahead of fifth placed Chelsea.

March provided Manchester United with four league victories out of four, with an away win at struggling Crystal Palace, followed by wins at home against Liverpool, Brighton and Swansea.

United progressed to the last sixteen in their Champions League Campaign. A 0-0 draw at Sevilla in Spain, set up a good opportunity to progress further. Two late second half goals from Sevilla put paid to the Reds run in this season’s competition despite a response by way of a Romelu Lukaku goal six minutes from time.

“We had chances and dangerous approaches but they scored before us,” commented, Jose Mourinho. “After that, we were on the edge and it was really difficult.”

April started well for the team, with a thrilling away win over their light blue Manchester rivals, United coming back from a two-goal deficit at half time to beat Manchester City 3-2, with Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba starring – Pogba scoring twice, before Chris Smalling netted the winner.

United’s Manager was understandably pleased with the result. “I’m really happy for the fans because I know for the fans the result against a direct rival is always important. I am really, really pleased for us as a group that we can finish in the top four and we have a big chance to finish second with this fantastic result.”

On Sunday, the league’s bottom team, West Bromwich Albion, visited Old Trafford, and scored an unexpected 0-1 victory against the Reds, which confirmed Manchester City as League Champions.

United remain in second place and, at the weekend, make the trip to Wembley to take on Spurs in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

ROFGO TAKE GULF COLOURS TO ENDURANCE VICTORY AT SILVERSTONE

It is an extremely busy time for Roald Goethe’s ROFGO operation. A third building is currently under construction at ROFGO Park – home to both the amazing ROFGO Collection of Gulf racing cars and of ROFGO Racing.

ROFGO Racing’s programme kicked off very early in the new year with a ROFGO entered Gulf Renault GT3 taking part in the Dubai 24 Hours, while at Silverstone in March, the ROFGO Gulf Mercedes swept to a maiden victory in the Silverstone 12 Hours.

The beautiful blue and orange car had to come back from both being hit by another car and an excursion into the gravel trap early in the first of the two-part race. Strong stints from all three drivers saw Stuart Hall, Dan Brown and Roald Goethe climb back from 8th to lead with two hours remaining and the Gulf car held the lead through to the finish.

ROFGO’s attention now turns to Monaco where, next month, five cars will compete at the fabulous Monaco Historic Grand Prix.

MONACO OPPORTUNITY
Gulf Oil International has two VIP hospitality places – including Hotel accommodation in Monaco – remaining for this fantastic weekend. For more details contact:
rachit.kapoor@gulfoilltd.com

GULF RACING BMW UP AND RUNNING AHEAD OF THE ISLE OF MAN TT

Keen observers of British Motorbike racing noticed the Gulf Racing BMW superbike, which will be competing in this year’s Isle of Man TT at the end of May/beginning of June, taking part in the opening round of the British Superbike championship (BSB).

The bike, run by SMR – who most will know as being the team responsible for the factory Milwaukee Aprilias in World Superbikes – is being ridden by David Johnson and, by common consent, looks superb in its Gulf livery. It attracted a great deal of positive comment at the Donington Park BSB round where, despite its outing really being little more than an extended test session, Johnson finished in the top twenty, in a field of over thirty BSB regulars.

The 2018 Isle of Man TT, which runs on an awesome 37.73 mile public road course, on the island off the North West coast of England, will run from May 26th to June 8th and an extremely limited number of places for Gulf guests remain.

More details of the Isle of Man TT races: rachit.kapoor@gulfoilltd.com

ROLLERCOASTER RIDE FOR GULF TEAMS AS 2018 SEASON COMMENCES

Last year both of the Gulf World Superbike teams demonstrated that they had real promise.

The Milwaukee Aprilia bikes showed, on occasions – and increasingly as the season progressed – that there was speed enough to potentially mount a challenge on the leading SBK teams, but the red and white bikes invariably lacked the consistency of pace required to remain at or near the front throughout the race.

The team held on to both Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori and spent much of testing progressing towards finding a solution to the tyre performance drop-off it experienced so often in 2017.

Gulf has now stepped up to become the title sponsor of the Althea squad – renamed Gulf Althea BMW Racing for 2018 – and the Italian outfit is running a single BMW S1000RR World Superbike for ex-Moto GP star, Loris Baz and a further S1000RR in Superstock 1000 for rising Italian star Alessandro Delbianco.

An impressive 40 Gulf VIP guests made the journey from New Zealand and mainland Australia to the Philip Island circuit, some two hours from Melbourne, for the season opener just over a month ago.

They were rewarded with two exciting days of racing, buoyed as soon as they arrived, by the fact that the Gulf-supported Aprilias had been first and third fastest on Friday. Superpole qualifying produced highs and lows for our teams. Loris Baz had picked up an injury after coming off the bike and he qualified 13th for the first race, but was clearly in a fair amount of discomfort. Lorenzo Savadori, who had been the fastest man on track for long periods, also came off the bike and broke his collarbone, so was unable to race. This left Eugene Laverty as the only fit Gulf rider, however, he gave the Gulf guests something to really cheer about as he clinched a front row spot – and would start race 1 from second on the grid.

In the race, Eugene found himself bested at the start and while he ran on-the-pace for most of the time he slowly slipped back, coming in eighth but not too far from the top three. Loris Baz bravely rode through his injury to finish well in the points, in 11th, on the BMW.

Because of the complicated results-based grid system for Race Two, Eugene Laverty started from the middle of the second row. This time he made a great start and before long had muscled his way into the lead of the race. Before anyone had a chance to respond Laverty had built an impressive gap on the rest of the field – all of whom we squabbling for second place. It was extremely exciting to see a Gulf bike not only heading the field, but riding away from the competition – and Laverty looked comfortable…. until a mistake saw him unseated from the bike, at the same corner where team mate Savadori had come to grief in qualifying.

Able to remount, he went on to score a point for finishing 15th while Loris Baz, still riding though pain, brought the Gulf Althea BMW home to a top ten finish riding to 9th at the chequered flag.

In Thailand, both Loris Baz and Lorenzo Savadori were still suffering the after-effects of their injuries, which made it difficult for them, with fitness at a premium in the savage heat of the Chang circuit.

Eugene Laverty was the fastest of the Gulf qualifiers in 8th and he finished in 9th in Race One, ahead of team-mate Savadori in 11th and Loris Baz rounded out the points scorers in 15th.

Thailand is very much a motor biking country and Gulf Oil South East Asia brought a good number of guests, who reported having an excellent time.

Not so, unfortunately for Eugene Laverty, who crashed out a quarter of the way through Race Two, fracturing his pelvis. Savadori came home 9th and Loris Baz 12th – both looking forward to further time to recover before the next race.

With Eugene Laverty’s injury expected to take up to two months to heal, Milwaukee Aprilia have drafted in former Ducati works rider, Davide Giuliano until Eugene is fit enough to return.

Giuliano lined up alongside the other Gulf riders at the weekend’s Aragon round of World Superbikes and was clearly looking to acclimatise himself to his new machine.

An incident packed first race, looked to have sidelined Lorenzo Savadori, who had been inadvertently caught up in a race-stopping incident with Honda’s Leon Camier and MV’s Jordi Torres. The team worked rapidly to rebuild the bike and Lorenzo made the restart, but clearly the bike was not 100% as he slipped back to finish 15th. Davide Giuliano scored points first time out, coming home 13th, while Loris Baz was the highest placed Gulf finisher in 11th, which was tough on the Gulf Althea rider, as he had been running well inside the top ten before the race had to be restarted.

In Race Two, Savadori came home tenth while Loris Baz rode through from the back of the field to finish in the points in 15th. Davide Giuliano pulled into the pits midway through the race with a mechanical issue, subsequently continuing in order to get more seat time on the bike.

Alessandro Delbianco’s debut in the Superstock 1000 series promised much, as he qualified in the top ten, but his race was unfortunately cut short, as he was sidelined after two laps.

It will only be a few days until all the Gulf riders are once more in action, however, as the next meeting is this coming weekend at the “Cathedral of Speed” – the Assen track in The Netherlands.

Check out Gulf’s 2018 World Superbike Promo videos, which can be found (and shared) through the Gulf Oil International Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/gulfoilinternational/?ref=br_rs where they have already attracted several thousand views.

Or, they can be accessed and downloaded from the Gulf Extranet:

https://extranet.gulfoilltd.com/marketing/sponsorships/wsbk-activation/wsbk-imagesvideos/

https://extranet.gulfoilltd.com/marketing/media/

GULF SYNTRAC 4T BECOMES OFFICIAL OIL FOR DORNA'S RISING TALENT CUP

Gulf has secured its first technical supply contract with Dorna, who organise both Moto GP and the World Superbike Championship.

After a round of testing of various different oils, Gulf’s Syntrac 4T Superbike 5W40 lubricant has been chosen as the official oil of Dorna’s Talent Cup in the UK. The championship is designed to help find and nurture the World Championship riders of the future and the British Series is rated as one of Dorna’s key Junior series.

The British Talent Cup’s 22 riders all use the same Honda 250cc Moto 3 bike and the 6 round, 12 race championship appears on the programme at two Moto GP rounds, three British Superbike Championship meetings and the British round of the World Superbike Championship.

Gulf branding appears on the bikes, riders and the championship’s multiple transporter fleet as well as in the official championship garage area – and every round of the series is televised through the Eurosport TV network and its global TV affiliates.

More details: http://www.britishtalentcup.com

SUPER START FOR THE SUPER KINGS

The 2018 Indian Premier League Cricket season started this month and, after being out of the competition for two years, Gulf’s cricketing partner team – the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – led by Gulf Brand Ambassador, MS Dhoni, got off to a fine start.

CSK have treated us to three very exciting games. They opened their season away to defending Champions, Mumbai Indians. Having been eight wickets down for only 118 runs, chasing a total of 165, victory went to CSK, with one wicket to spare, thanks to a fantastic innings from Dwayne Bravo and to Kedar Jadhav coming back in onto the field – having earlier gone off injured – to hit the winning runs.

 

 

Then came the return to Chennai – the match all of Gulf and Super Kings fans have been waiting for – against the Kolkata Knight Riders, who looked like they might spoil the homecoming party by making a huge total of 202. CSK got off to a great start but we’re pegged back in the middle of the innings by some excellent bowling. A fantastic innings of 55 from only 21 balls from Billings brought CSK back into it but they still needed 17 to win off the final over. Dwayne Bravo hit a six off the first ball and, helped by a No-Ball, CSK took the match with a six off the penultimate ball.

CSK were looking to make it three in a row on Sunday when they took on Kings XI Punjab away from home. The Kings XI looked set to amass a monstrous total, having run up 126 for only 1 wicket lost after just 11.2 overs, however, some great bowling from CSK in the latter overs restricted the total to under 200.

Chasing 197, CSK set off perhaps too slowly and the game looked well out of reach until an IPL career-best innings from Gulf’s Brand Ambassador himself, MS Dhoni, brought the total tantalisingly close. CSK came up just four runs short with MSD hitting a boundary off the final ball to record a superb innings of 79 not out.

CSK take on the Rajasthan Royals on Friday April 20th, looking to make it three wins out of four.

www.iplt20.com

 

GULF MAKES THE LEAP INTO TOP-FLIGHT RUGBY

Gulf has expanded its sporting platform further with, in March, the announcement of a new three year partnership with one of New Zealand’s leading Rugby Teams, The Pulse Energy Highlanders.

The NZ Super Rugby competition, which lasts for seven months of the year and in which the Highlanders compete, is regarded as one of the toughest national rugby competitions in the world and enjoys worldwide coverage on TV with a global audience of more than 200 million fans across 154 countries.

The reach this gives the Gulf brand globally, in addition to Gulf’s other sporting partnerships, will help reach our consumers in every market and corner of the globe. Gulf will be visible at over 135 matches broadcasted on ESPN, Sky Sports and OSN globally.

The team boasts several members of the current New Zealand “All Blacks” national squad and, after five games, the Highlanders currently sit sixth in the Investec Super Rugby championship table out of the fifteen-competing teams.

www.thehighlanders.co.nz

AROUND THE WORLD OF GULF SPORT

 

PHILIPPINES

Gulf Supreme Boosters – the Manila basketball team sponsored by Gulf Oil Philippines – recently made the quarter-finals of the Manila League, the Basketball Series based in and around the country’s capital.

marygrace@gulfoilphilippines.com Or www.msw.ph

 

JAPAN

Gulf Racing Japan has another full year of motorsport lined up, with a programme that includes Super GT, Porsche Cup, Formula 4 and Super FJ.

The team started the year by journeying to the Middle East to take part in the Dubai 24 Hours and here their 911 leads the ROFGO-entered Renault GT3.

tomoyo@pro-metheus.co.jp

 

HOLLAND

Gulf recently exhibited at the Netherlands’ motorbike show, in conjunction with one of its sub-distributors.

The focal point of the stand was the Gulf race replica BMW Superbike, now resplendent in this year’s Gulf BMW TT-style livery. Many visitors to the stand took the opportunity of being photographed astride the excellent-looking machine and were then encouraged to post their images on social media.

h.koetzier@gulf.nl

GULF MARINE

Gulf Marine recently took a party of guests to the recent Hong Kong Sevens Rugby tournament, which is widely recognised as one of the top Rugby Sevens tournaments around the world. It looks like the guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves in traditional Rugby style!

safiul.gazi@gulf-marine.com

MALAYSIA

Gulf Oil South East Asia were recently involved in one of the now well-established ‘I love United’ fan events – this one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The event gave Gulf guests the chance to mix it with Manchester United Legends and to take part in all sorts of different activities, as well, of course, of having the chance to watch a match – in this case Manchester United’s recent win over Liverpool.

kelly.leong@gulfoil-seasia.com

 

PHILIPPINES

Gulf Oil Philippines (GOP) has just announced its support for the Quezon City Capitals in the country’s Mahalarlika national basketball league.

The league was started by famous Philippino boxer, Manny Pacquiao and it has a large following. With several months TV coverage of the league guaranteed, GOP is looking to this initiative to further raise the profile of the Gulf brand in the country.

marygrace@gulfoilphilippines.com

BRAZIL

Gulf Brazil recently sponsored leading competitors in the country’s European Jiu Jitsu tournament. Quality, Endurance and Passion are certainly essential for success in this tough sport!

weines@gulfbrasil.com.br

INDIA

Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd has signed Hardik Pandya as Gulf’s second brand ambassador. The all-rounder is a rising star and is fast becoming a youth icon for cricket fans in India. He is flanked here by Gulf’s Nagendra Pai(l) and MS Dhoni (r)

abhanshu@gulfoil.co.in

 

NETHERLANDS

Gulf has recently launched a scratch and score promotion in the Netherlands. The B2B2C campaign features both the BMW and Aprilia partnerships and customers receive scratch cards with chances to win merchandise and tickets to World Superbike Championship races.

The aim is to increase sales volumes and to create brand preference with resellers and customers alike.

h.koetzier@gulf.nl

BRAZIL

This extremely eye-catching delivery van, featuring the Gulf Racing Porsche, has recently made its debut in Brazil.

weines@gulfbrasil.com.br

MYANMAR

Gulf Oil South East Asia recently ran an extremely colourful Gulf – Manchester United promotion with workshop customers in Myanmar. The promotion featured a prize draw for all sorts of different merchandise and was very well received.

kelly.leong@gulfoil-seasia.com

 

INDIA

The latest Gulf Fan Academy video is currently online and most certainly worth watching, featuring, as it does, the Fan Academy’s own anthem…

 

 

ASIAN LE MANS SERIES - WIN MOTORSPORT

Gulf Oil South East Asia linked up with WIN Motorsports for the recent Asian Le Mans series and were rewarded with two podium finishes.

The blue and orange Ligier LMP3 car not only looked superb, but also performed to a high standard and GOSEA used the races to entertain customers across the region.

kelly.leong@gulfoil-seasia.com

 

GULF SPORTING DIARY

 

MILWAUKEE APRILIA & GULF ALTHEA BMW

World Superbike Championship

Round 3 - Aragón, Spain - April 13th - 15th

Round 4 - TT Assen Circuit, The Netherlands - April 20th - 22nd

Round 5 - Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - May 11th - 13th

Round 6 - Donington Park, UK - May 25th - 27th


GULF RACING

World Endurance Championship

Round 1 - 6 Hours of Spa - May 3rd - 5th

Round 2 - 24 hours of Le Mans - June 16th - 17th


GULF BMW

Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man TT - Isle of Man - May 26th - June 1st


MANCHESTER UNITED

English Premier League

Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion - Old Trafford - April 15th

Manchester United vs Bournemouth - Dean Court - April 18th

Manchester United vs Arsenal - Old Trafford - April 29th

Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Falmer Stadium - May 4th

Manchester United vs West Ham United - London Stadium - May 10th

Manchester United vs Watford - Old Trafford - May 13th

FA Cup

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur - Wembley Stadium - April 21st