CASTROL SIX HOUR - 1970:
The inaugural event, Sydney's 'Willoughby District
Motorcycle Club' were the Organiser with Castrol as the Major Sponsor. Bryan
Hindle/Len Atlee, Triumph Bonneville 650, (Bike No.3) won from Craig Brown,
Honda CB750. The
event was well attended and little did anyone know how 'great' the Annual
Event was to become!
Hindle and Atlee,
(both 'A' Grade Road Racers), had
trouble, the Bonnie's brake linings glazed and for some hours the Riders
relied on the gearbox, especially approaching Stop Corner. The amazing 'BIKE
No.3' success had started, and the Bonnie completed 312 laps.
Craig Brown, reportedly competing in his first Road
Race, gave an indicator to the future success of
Four Cylinder Machines, despite having Single Disc Brake Problems on the new
CB750, finishing in second place, completing 308 laps.
Third place was taken by Dave Burgess and Joe Eastmure
on a Suzuki T20-250, amazing given the bikes capacity. The Bike completed
306 laps. Talking to Joe in 2008, he told me the secret to the T20 at Amaroo
was the location of the footpegs, 'over' the exhaust pipes offering more
lean clearance. Regardless the Riders put down consistent lap times and the
machine was very reliable.
Ken Blake raced a Kawasaki Mach III 500, sadly there
was a fuel stop mix up and other bike issues which forced him off the leader
board, including a broken handlebar.
I thought the Triumph would not last the distance and
the Yamaha XS650 of Ron Toombs and Eric Hinton would be very competitive, no
way, engine failure before half distance sealed the XS's fate.
Suffice to say names like Hindle, Atlee, Blake and Eastmure
in particular continued to appear in the Major Placings for years to come.
[Photo credit: Castrol GTX advertisement scan]