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201405 Apr

Ravi-Kirpalani

The 23rd of March 2014 will go down in the book of Indian motor sporting history as the day when the country hosted its first ever truck racing championship. On this momentous occasion, autojunction.in caught up with Ravi Kirpalani for a candid chat at the Budhh International Circuit.

 

AJ: What was the motivation behind coming onboard as a sponsor and fielding a team at the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship?

RK: For well over half a century, Castrol has been associated with motorsports around the globe at various competitions and championships. We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with Honda in two-wheeler racing and have registered more than 500 wins over a period of 50 years. Castrol has also previously partnered with BMW in Formula 1 racing and have also enjoyed successful associations with Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen and Ford at various motor sporting events around the world. So when Tata Motors approached us with an offer to be part of India’s first ever truck racing championship, we were only too happy to say yes! Besides, Castrol’s association with Tata Motors spans over 30 years and we always want to stand by them in all their endeavours.

 

AJ: Tell us about the drivers you have picked to race for Team Castrol Vecton?

RK: The duo who will be racing for Team Castrol Vecton at the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship are Stuart Oliver and Dave Ball. Stuart began truck racing in 1998 and only a year later he won his first championship. He went on to win the British Truck Racing Championship a remarkable 10 times and has also won the FIA European Championship in 2004. Dave is a professional truck driver. He started his career in go-karts at the age of 12 and continues to race till this very day. He has also competed in oval racing for over 10 years with great success, winning many races and championships. Dave progressed into truck racing in 2005, becoming Rookie of the Year and ‘Most Improved Driver’ in 2006 and winning Division 2 in 2008. I’m pretty happy with our line-up and feel confident that the boys will do well. 

 

AJ: What is Castrol’s present market share and your sales distribution ratio in India?

RK: Presently, Castrol’s overall market share stands between 16-17 per cent. Out of our total sales, 20 per cent is supplied to OEMs, 60 per cent to retail and the remaining 20 per cent to non-OEMs (B2B).

 

AJ: Which are the OEMs that Castrol is supplying to?

RK: In India, we supply to Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Skoda, Maruti, Ford and Tata Motors.

 

AJ: What are the new products that we can expect from Castrol this year?

RK: Gearless scooters are making a strong comeback. Modern gearless scooter engines need low friction oils for optimum performance and need to be protected from high temperature as the engine is compact and enclosed. Therefore we have launched the Castrol Activ Scooter in January – a special engine oil for gearless scooters. Also in the pipeline is the Castrol Vecton (after which our T1 Prima Truck Racing Team is named) – an advanced engine oil for trucks. This product will hit the market in the second-half of 2014.   

 

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