Castrol Six Hour

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For the similarly named New Zealand event, see Castrol Six Hour (New Zealand).
Amaroo map.gif
Venue Amaroo Park
Location Annangrove, New South Wales
33°39′3″S 150°56′1″E / 33.65083°S 150.93361°E / -33.65083; 150.93361Coordinates: 33°39′3″S 150°56′1″E / 33.65083°S 150.93361°E / -33.65083; 150.93361
Corporate sponsor Castrol
First race 1970
Last race 1987
Duration 6 hours
Most wins (rider) Ken Blake, Michael Dowson (3)
Most wins (manufacturer) Kawasaki, Yamaha (5)
Circuit information
Length 1.94 km (1.21 mi)
Turns 10

The Castrol Six Hour was a motorcycle race for production motorcycles, held in Australia from 1970 through to 1987.


The race was run by the Willoughby District Motorcycle Club and held at Amaroo Park until 1983, when it was moved to Oran Park for 1984 until the final race in 1987. At the time it was the biggest and most prestigious bike meeting in Australia, enjoying huge support from not only Castrol and much of the motorcycle trade, but also was a great hit with the motorcycle community who saw it as a real test of the motorcycles they might wish to buy. The main character of the race being the bikes had to be stock and were rigorously inspected to ensure they were.[1] It also had considerable television coverage and either contributed to or was the result of a motorcycle sales boom. The 6 Hour was so important to the industry, Honda designed the CB 1100R(B), to win the race. The first model had no fairing and is totally hand made.

Originally the race was called the Castrol 1000 in recognition of the prize money on offer from Castrol. $1000 was a considerable sum in 1970 as can be seen by the fact that the eventual winning bike in the first race, a Triumph Bonneville 650, could be purchased for around $1,150.00 at the time.

At first the race was for 3 classes, Unlimited, 500 cc and 250 cc. The race continued in that format until 1975, when the 250 cc class was dropped for "rider safety". Then in 1978 the 500 cc class was dropped and a 750 cc class introduced. For 1983 The maximum capacity was limited to 1000 cc, probably to comply with the ACCA regulations and in 1987 a 250 cc class was reintroduced.

The first race was run on Sunday, 18 October 1970, when 68 riders lined up for the Le Mans start.

The end came partly because of Castrol pulling out of road racing to concentrate its efforts on initially the Mr Motocross Series and then V8 Supercars, and partly because of controversy that had dogged the event since the start over eligibility of bikes or components. Also races for production bikes were losing support as more people moved to the new Superbikes. The move to Oran Park was also not popular with many fans.

There have been attempts to revive the idea of a six-hour endurance race, including one at Phillip Island, one at Eastern Creek and two at Oran Park in the 1990s and early 2000s but none met with the success of the original six hour.

Star riders[edit]

Many famous names competed in the event, such as Mike (the bike) Hailwood (UK), Wes Cooley (USA), John Kocinski (USA), Ken Blake, Robert Holden and Graeme Crosby (NZ Kawasaki). Winners of the event include a virtual "who's who" of Australian motorcycle racing during the 1970s and 1980s, including Rob Phillis (Mick Hone Suzuki), Andrew Johnson(Mentor Motorcycles-Honda), Warren Willing (Team Yamaha), Wayne Gardner (Team Honda), Gregg Hansford (Team Kawasaki), Michael Dowson, Malcolm Campbell (Team Honda) and Kevin Magee (TZ750), Michael Cole (Team Honda), Malcolm Campbell (Team Honda). A host a privateers contested the 6 hour putting them on even (horsepower) footing with factory backed racers. The best of these was David Brewer (Uncle Dons Cycles), David Shaw (Bayside Kawasaki), these two in particular harassed the factory riders whilst on similar machinery regularly taking top 5 positions.


Year Position Riders Manufacturer Motorcycle Laps
1st Len Atlee, Brian Hindle Triumph Bonneville 650 312
2nd C Brown, R Jackson Honda CB750 308
3rd D Burgess, Joe Eastmure Suzuki T20-250 303
1st Brian Hindle, Clive Knight Honda CB750 333
2nd Tony Hatton, Paul Spooner Yamaha XS650 330
3rd Max Robinson, B Gault Honda CB750 328
1st Mike Steele, Dave Burgess Kawasaki H2 750 334
2nd G Thomas, M Robinson Honda CB750 332
3rd Ken Blake, J Curley Ducati GT750 330
1st Ken Blake Kawasaki Z1B 900 342
2nd Warren Willing, John Boote Kawasaki H2 750 341
3rd Tony Hatton BMW R75 340
1st Ken Blake, Len Atlee Kawasaki Z1 900 344
2nd John Warrian Kawasaki Z1 900 336
3rd K Chevell, B Mayes Kawasaki Z1 900 334
1st Gregg Hansford, Murray Sayle Kawasaki Z1 900 335
2nd Ken Blake BMW R90S 331
3rd Roger Heyes, S Crymble Kawasaki Z1 900 329
1st Jim Budd, Roger Heyes Kawasaki Z1B 350
2nd Ken Blake, Tony Hatton BMW R90S 349
3rd Dan Oakhill, Ross Pink Ducati 900SS 348
1st Ken Blake, Joe Eastmure BMW R100S 356
2nd Jim Budd, Neil Chivas Kawasaki Z1B 900 356
3rd Alan Hales, Dave Burgess Kawasaki Z650 353
1st Roger Heyes, Jim Budd Yamaha XS1100 354
2nd John Warrian, Terry Kelly Ducati 900SS 353
3rd Mick Cole, Dennis Neil Honda CBX1000 353
1st Alan Hales, Neill Chivas Suzuki GS1000 360
2nd Greg Pretty, Jim Budd Yamaha XS1100 357
3rd Len Atlee, Gary Coleman Yamaha XS1100 357
1st Andrew Johnson, Wayne Gardner Honda CB1100R 322
2nd Neil Chivas, John Pace Suzuki GSX1100 322
3rd Roger Heyes, Dennis Neil Honda CB1100R 318
1st Dave Petersen, Neville Hiscock Suzuki GSX1100 314
2nd Roger Heyes, Malcolm Campbell Suzuki GSX1100 313
3rd Ron Boulden, Stephen Gall Yamaha XS1100 312
1st Wayne Gardner, Wayne Clarke Honda CB1100R 367
2nd John Pace, Peter Byers Honda CB1100R 367
3rd Alan Blanco, Geoff French Honda CB1100R 367
1st Malcolm Campbell, Rod Cox Honda VF750F 372
2nd Rob Phillis, G French Honda VF750F 372
3rd R Heyes, Robert Holden Suzuki GSX1000S 372
1st Richard Scott, Michael Dowson Yamaha RZ500 260
2nd Wayne Gardner, John Pace Honda VF1000 260
3rd Neil Chivas, Robert Holden Suzuki Katana 750 256
1st Richard Scott, Paul Feeney Yamaha FZ750 238
2nd Len Willing, Iain Pero Kawasaki GPz900R 238
3rd Michael Dowson, Kevin Magee Yamaha FZ750 238
1st Michael Dowson, Kevin Magee Yamaha FZ750 270
2nd Robert Holden, Brent Jones Suzuki GSXR750 270
3rd Richard Scott, Rod Cox Yamaha FZ750 269
1st Kevin Magee, Michael Dowson Yamaha FZR1000 269
2nd Peter Byers, James Knight Yamaha FZR1000 266
3rd Robert Holden, Aaron Slight Suzuki GSX-R750H 265


  1. ^ Phil Hall. "Six hours a year". Motorcycle News. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 

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