Gulf Oil International is to run in the World Superbike Championship (SBK) in 2017 as technical partners with BMW manufacturer-backed squad, Gulf BMW Althea Racing in a deal that will initially run until the end of 2018.
The team, which will continue to represent the German manufacturer in the ultra competitive world championship, moved to BMW in 2016 and has been the most successful representative of the marque in 2016.
Althea has a long and successful history in SBK, having won numerous races in the series and it took rider and team world superbike championship crowns in 2011 with rider Carlos Checa. The team also took team and rider’s titles in World Superstock in the same year.
“We have been establishing an important relationship with BMW, through our World Superbike programme,” explains Frank Rutten, Vice President International, Gulf Oil. ”They are one of the world’s great vehicle manufacturers and it was a priority of ours to have a continuity of association with them – irrespective of what we might do with other teams. I am delighted that Gulf is now in partnership with Althea Racing, who continue to have the support of BMW in World Superbikes. They have a great deal to offer as an addition to our global marketing platform and we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead in 2017.”
Althea Racing Director, Genesio Bevilacqua explains what it means to have Gulf as a partner: “I am extremely pleased about the collaboration between Althea BMW Racing Team and Gulf which will certainly represent a high-level technical cooperation. With the use of specific racing products we aim to achieve the maximum performance efficiency through our experience as a team in the World Championship, therefore research and development in collaboration with Gulf is very important. Next year we can definitely aspire to prestigious results.”
Testing for the 2017 season will commence later this month, with the season kicking off at Phillip Island in Australia in February.