Castrol Six Hour
|Location||Annangrove, New South Wales
|Most wins (rider)||Ken Blake, Michael Dowson (3)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Kawasaki, Yamaha (5)|
|Length||1.94 km (1.21 mi)|
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. 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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
- Phil Hall. "Six hours a year". Motorcycle News. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)|