At the Carlisle airfield in Cumbria, Castrol invited Marco Simoncelli, the MotoGP star to try his luck on four wheels. Marco was given the Ford Fiesta RS WRC to drive around the specially designed circuit. Marco drove the car around for approximately half an hour during which he managed to cover 50 kms.
The event was arranged by Castrol, sponsor of both Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and WRC Team – Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. Marco Simoncelli drives for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini in MotoGP championship.
Marco Simoncelli managed to get tips from Mikko Hirvonen who has just returned after winning in Rally Australia. Hirvonen is currently ranked second in the WRC standings and there are not many out there who knows a rally car better than Marco.
Following on from the test, both Simoncelli and Castrol Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea were then taken for passenger rides on the test forest stage at the team’s M-Sport headquarters with Mikko Hirvonen behind the wheel. Recently returned to racing from injury, Rea joined up with his MotoGP counterpart to go behind the scenes at the world-class facility at Dovenby Hall and learn about the set-up of the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Castrol has a rich heritage in utilising analysis, technology and innovation to deliver record breaking performances which stretches back over 100 years. Motorsport is still at the heart of the brand and today Castrol has partnerships with a huge range of motorsport teams in a variety of both two and four-wheeled series.
Technology leadership is one of Castrol’s great strengths. It supports all of its partner teams with industry leading technical insight in order to improve their on track performances, whether that’s in MotoGP, WRC, World Superbikes or the Le Mans series. Off the track, Castrol has taken this commitment further to enhance the experience of fans by creating the Castrol EDGE Rankings and the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor.
Speaking about the event Marco Simoncelli said: “It’s an honour to be invited by Castrol to drive a car like this. It took me a little while to get used to the car but it is incredibly well balanced once you get the feel of the controls. It’s always useful to share race experience and technical knowledge with other drivers and riders and I’ve learnt a lot today from Mikko and the team.”
Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen said: “It’s great fun when Castrol allows us to meet other riders and drivers. Marco obviously has some serious talent. Considering it was his first time with this car, he put in some very impressive times. Maybe there’s a future for him in the WRC after MotoGP!”