At Duckhams, not only are we proud of the truly game changing lubricants we have produced over the years but also of the tremendous names in motor sport that, through support from Duckhams, have gone on to be champions, legends and hugely important ambassadors for the sport.
We have also been at the start of some new and innovative forms of motorsport as well. A superb example being Superkarts, that changed the face of karting across the world forever.
Distinguishable from the ‘go-karts’ you might have down at your local indoor rink, these are racing vehicle sized and often with full aerodynamic body packages. Utilising a two-stroke 250cc engine and a five or six speed sequential gearbox, these tiny karts propel their brave pilots to truly frightening speeds of over 150 miles per hour! They race on full size circuits and to put this into perspective, at some venues they actually record faster lap times than a Formula 3 car.
One man who revolutionized karting as a driver and manufacturer and is credited with being one of the pioneers of the new Superkart sport was Martin Hines. In his own right, he was a successful kart driver racking up 17 major championships, 3 world titles and 5 European cups and won his last one at the age of 56. Furthermore he discovered and nurtured many future F1 stars including David Coulthard, Anthony Davidson and Lewis Hamilton.
His fascinating autobiography details how Duckhams helped him in his in early years.
…while the media had shown little interest in what they considered go-karts, they quickly took notice when a madman started to hare round circuits at 150mph on what was little more than a tea tray. That caught their imagination and we started to see plenty of photos in the papers and clips on TV.
I realised that if I was smart, I could use this publicity to my advantage and managed to secure my first major sponsorship deal with Duckhams Oil. They had sponsored Van Diemen’s Formula Ford team for about twenty years and were one of the leading oil manufacturers in motorsport. So I approached their head of motor sport, Ron Carnell, to see if he could help me.
I showed him the kind of press coverage we were receiving, told him about the trips we were taking round the world and sold him the idea of how it could help promote Duckhams.
Somewhat to my surprise, he quickly agreed. It wasn’t a deal that brought me in big bucks – most of the support was in the form of products – but you should have seen people’s faces when I turned up with my kart kitted out in distinctive blue and yellow with ‘Duckhams’ emblazoned all over it and wearing overalls to match! It was another first for Zip karts and added to our growing reputation as the sport’s trendsetters.”
The autobiography of Martin Hines is published by John Blake Publishing ISBN: 9781844546589 and is well worth a read for any motorsport fan.