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THE SIX HOUR: In my opinion the greatest annual Road Racing event in Australia, the Castrol Six Hour grew to major importance throughout the seventies and into the early eighties. Sadly it all ended in 1987.  In 2009 the concept was reinvented with Bel-Ray as the naming sponsor. The initial race was held at Oran Park and the subsequent race was held at Phillip Island!

BEL-RAY SIX HOUR - 2010: Wow, a superb second running of the Bel-Ray Six Hour was held for the first of hopefully many occasions at Phillip Island in December 2010.

Please review my records of the Race and particularly records of events in Pit Lane here: BEL-RAY SIX HOUR 2010.

BEL-RAY SIX HOUR - 2009: A very welcome return of the Six Hour, with a new naming sponsor. The race was the final meeting prior to the demise of the Oran Park circuit.

Please review my records of the Race and Parade Lap of 'Castrol Series Machinery' here: BEL-RAY SIX HOUR 2009.

CASTROL SIX HOUR - 1970~1987: The Australian Castrol Six Hour event, held initially at Amaroo Park, (1970~1983) and in it's last few years, less successfully at Oran Park, (1984~1987), remains my favourite all time Aussie Road Race Series. Some of Australia's greatest modern day Road Racers competed and some were 'discovered' at these events. Names like Gardner, Doohan, Blake, Budd, Hindle, Toombs, Hales, Hansford, Warren and Len Willing and Dennis Neill come freely to mind. Overseas Riders gave it a go to, from the 'UK', Mike Hailwood!!, Mick Grant, Percy Tait and Ron Haslam. From Germany, Helmut Dahne. From the 'USA', John Kocinski, Wes Cooley and Hurley Wilvert. From 'South Africa', Dave Peterson, Rod Gray and Dave Woolley. Japanese rider Akihiro Kiyohara made an appearance and a huge effort came from 'New Zealand' Riders, Graeme Crosby, Dave and Neville Hiscock and Robert Holden, they were very competitive.

I attended every 'Amaroo Park' Castrol Six Hour Race, the most cherished memory is from the first event, Bryan Hindle/Len Atlee won on a Triumph Bonneville 650, glazed brake linings and all, from Craig Brown on the then just released Honda CB750!, my recollection is that Craig's Bike had trouble with a worn single disc pad set. Bob Pressley and Geoff Lucas showed the reliability and rideability of the BMW R75/5 and another BMW R75/5 showed considerable speed, that of John Galvin, (travelling Marshall)!  John displayed that 'turn of speed' quite a few times during the first Castrol Six Hour, cutting through traffic to reach on track incidents, the ultimate Galvinism, pulling up on Bitupave Hill (with R75/5 hazards activated of course) attending to an incident then casually riding off sans gloves, no problem, do a lap and stop and pick the gloves up with racing machinery all round him.

Another cherished memory is not from a Race Day, no sir, it was Practice Day, 1978. Graeme Crosby (CBX1000A), Alan Hales (GS1000) and Greg Pretty (XS1100) achieved the first three places on the grid and all three went out for a 'quick blast' around the tight Amaroo Track. Very few Spectators witnessed this 'race' however there were some very worried 'team' faces in the pits!!! These great riders returned to the pits unscathed after some particularly heroic braking duals, especially by Croz! at Amaroo's Stop Corner. Tremendous stuff...........

Further memories, Ken Blake, just brilliant, unassuming. Mr Six Hour, nearly every Amaroo Six Hour was 'touched' by the Blake magic. I freely admit Ken and Bryan Hindle captured my attention then and my admiration to this day.

To Willoughby District Motorcycle Club, great stuff. The WDMCC set 'world leading' benchmarks for Race Organisers, Marshall's and certainly due diligence in the pits by Scrutineers. I am not aware of any Club or Organising Committee that have applied the same level of commitment shown by WDMCC.

To Wil Hagon and John Smailes, thanks guys for the professional commentary and knowledge you both brought to the Six Hour Series!  I met Wil and John in 2009 at separate race meetings and nothing diminishes my respect for these guys, they are both still at the top of their game!!

Please use the Button Bar on the left to select my corresponding Six Hour records, and memories of both Amaroo Park and Oran Park.

I LOVE NEW TECHNOLOGY, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, MOBILE PHONES/WIRELESS BROADBAND, GPS, ETC.  ALL SO COOL AND 'PORTABLE'......


Copyright 2013   Derek J. Hanbidge,  (aka Deejay51),  all rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2013.

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