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Press Releases from Castrol UK and Ireland (61 total)

WTCC: Priaulx on the podium in Spain

Castrol BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx got his World Touring Car Championship campaign back on track after claiming a hard-fought podium finish in the second race of the third round of the championship at Valencia. Priaulx’s first podium finish of the season came after earning himself a place at the front of the reverse grid by taking seventh in race two. After taking the lead at the start of the

European Football Championship 2008: Chopping and changing

The axe continues to fall – but there’s a surprise return for three veterans while two coaches heed the advice of the Castrol Index... Five becomes four France coach Raymond Domenech has played Juventus striker David Trezeguet five times since the 2006 World Cup, but that won’t become six this summer. Trezeguet - third on his country’s all-time list behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini with 34 goals – has lost out

Moto GP: Castrol riders take points at Le Mans

Both Castrol-backed Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis added to their points tally in the French GP at Le Mans on Sunday, finishing tenth and 12th respectively in a difficult race run at a furious pace. Despite the points, the results were again disappointing for team chief Fausto Gresini, struggling to get the satellite-team Honda machines and riders to display their full capabilities. \"Our potential is

European Football Championship 2008: Mind over matter

Castrol Index sports psychologist Andy Barton reveals why goal celebrations, positive thinking and smiling faces could be key to success this summer… “Getting a player into the perfect frame of mind is a fine balancing act. Some players perform best when they are highly charged; others need to be more relaxed. Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance, is an extrovert who needs to feel ‘pumped up’ to reach his best, and can be

WRC Rally: Ford stays top after Sardinia thriller

Castrol-backed Ford drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matta Latvala finished second and third respectively in a thrilling Rallye d’Italia after harrying Citroen-rival Sebastien Loeb all the way to the flag in Sardinia. The result saw the Castrol-Ford Abu Dhabi team and Hirvonen maintain their WRC lead in both championships on what was the first in a run of three European gravel events in just four weeks. Hirvonen ended the opening day in fourth

European Football Championship 2008: Science versus nature

For two of this summer’s potential Castrol Index stars, the route to the top couldn’t have been more different… In the 1980s, Ukrainian winger Andrei Kanchelskis was rejected for being too frail. His solution was to devise a regime to boost his physique. In one drill he would jump 100 times on each leg, then another 100 times on both. But as Lionel Messi demonstrates, these days a more scientific approach

European Football Championship 2008 - Ball watching

If you judge a player purely on what he does with the ball, you’ll never appreciate his true quality. Here are five who have impressed coaches with their play when they don’t have the ball at their feet. For a fan, a football game is a matter of 90 minutes. For a footballer, it consists of hundreds of different actions – tackles, touches, passes, runs, jogs, headers. Spectators – and TV

European Football Championship 2008: Coming a cropper

With the announcement of the first Euro 2008 squads, the Castrol Performance Index has experienced its first casualty… “You have to be positive and not be nervous about making changes or bringing through players.” So said Portugal boss Luis Felipe Scolari, a man known for his ruthless streak. And with Portugal enduring their worst slump since 2002 – they failed to beat any of their three closest rivals in qualifying –

European Football Championship 2008: Castrol Professional

Castrol Professional is designed to help dealerships increase their after sales profit. A number of programmes have been developed to target a variety of dealership revenue streams and help them maximise customer potential in more than just oil. When Castrol teamed up with some of the biggest names in football to support their UEFA EURO 2008™ sponsorship, they discovered that there are more similarities between running a successful dealership

European Football Championship 2008 - Decisions, decisions

The Frenchman is one of six players who, by Castrol Index’s reckoning, are worthy of starting berths, but they’ve yet to convince their coaches… Patrice Evra, France Eric Abidal played 977 minutes in qualifying, compared to Evra’s 90, in a defence that leaked just five goals – Les Blues have shipped just 0.48 goals per game since 2004 – but are France missing a trick? Evra was ever-present for a Manchester United

European Football Championship 2008 - Wish you were here

Eduardo da Silva isn’t the only high-profile player set to miss out this summer, with coaches’ thoughts turning to possible replacements if those currently sidelined fail to make it in time… Bernd Schneider “The loss of Bernd Schneider really hurts us,” admitted Germany coach Joachim Löw, whose defensive midfielder will be missing after surgery to a herniated disc. “His experience and class means he is a vital element and leader.” Schneider, known as

European Football Championship 2008: Coaches on the couch

Castrol Index’s sports psychologist, Andy Barton, has the inside line on the various Euro 2008 coaches’ differing routes to success… There’s not a single magic formula when it comes to coaching a winning team. “Some coaches are reflective, like France’s Raymond Domenech and Germany’s Joachim Löw,” says the CPI’s Andy Barton. “They’ll stay seated during a match and say few words. Others, like Portugal’s Luis Felipe Scolari, or Croatia’s Slaven Bilic

Moto GP: Castrol rider in the points in China

Castrol-backed Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis had a difficult weekend in the final Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai Circuit, with neither able to confirm the performance they’d shown in practice. Weather played a critical factor in today’s race. After a rain-free weekend, the skies opened up on race morning, forcing the teams and riders to practice in conditions that could easily change. In

WRC Rally: Ford takes championship lead with victory in Jordan

Mikko Hirvonen regained the WRC lead after a superb tactical victory on the first ever Jordan Rally while team mate Jari-Matti Latvala finished seventh.Dani Sordo finished second ahead of Chris Atkinson while Sebastien Loeb\'s run at the head of the leaderboard ended on Saturday with a head-on collision with team mate Conrad Rautenbach between stages. With air temperatures in the 40s and with a uniquely slippery road surface, stamina and tactics

European Football Championship 2008: The formation game

A traditional 4-4-2 worked for Greece in Euro 2004, but how will coaches organise the talent at their disposal this time around? Spain coach Luis Aragonés has some big decisions ahead of him if Spain are to win the European Championships for the first time in 44 years. His 4-5-1 formation, with David Villa up front, proved fruitful in qualifying, but that would mean leaving out Fernando Torres who’s scored 30

European Football Championship 2008: How to win the Euros

The secret to winning this year’s European Championships lies in the stats – which is where the Castrol Index comes in… Winning the European Championships requires a combination of luck, skill, fitness and confidence, but if teams follow the CPI eight-point plan, they won’t go far wrong! Defend for your lives Otto Rehhagel’s Greek side shipped just three goals en route to success in 2004. A glance at the CPI rankings shows France,

European Football Championship 2008: Goals galore

When it comes to goals the old adage says they all count, but when it comes to the CPI standings, some just count more than others… Among the players going to this year’s Euro 2008 finals, the highest and joint second-highest goalscorers in qualifying were Poland’s Ebu Smolarek (with nine goals) and German front man Lukas Podolski (on eight). Yet both trailed Italian Luca Toni in the Castrol Performance Index rankings.

European Football Championship 2008: Like it or lump it

Don\'t concede, clear your lines and send your centre-backs up for corners… it’s as easy as that when it comes to defenders scoring big in the CPI. Greece proved in Euro 2004 that a tight defence can work wonders and the CPI recognises the role of the back line, rewarding defensive players for scoring goals and stopping the other team from doing likewise. Making stops Tackling and stopping the opponent is a defender’s

European Football Championship 2008: Shut out

Clean sheets may be the name of the game, but for goalkeepers shot-stopping is the way to top the Castrol Performance Index rankings. And goals. Well, you never know… There are 13 recorded instances of goalkeepers scoring from open play. That number could become 14 this summer, but there are easier ways for our international stoppers to accumulate points … …Like distribution, for example. Long before the back pass rule was introduced

European Football Championship 2008: Cream of the crop

There’s been some movement at the top of the Castrol Performance Index rankings, with some familiar faces coming into form at exactly the right time… Frenchman Grégory Coupet was the top custodian following the Euro 2008 qualifiers, thanks to five clean sheets in the last seven qualifiers. After a quiet evening keeping goal against England, however, the Lyon stopper found himself making way for Germany’s indisputable no.1, Jens Lehmann, who made

European Football Championship 2008: The Middle Men

To play in midfield requires a combination of defensive and attacking skill – and for those wanting to make an impact in the CPI, the ability to score or assist is paramount… The boundaries of success for midfielders are more obscured than, say, a goalkeeper or striker. England’s defensive midfielder Owen Hargreaves, for example, recently stated that he feels he is judged on whether his team wins or loses – but

European Football Championship 2008 - Beware the underdog

No major tournament is without its potential ‘banana skins’ and the Castrol Performance Index has identified the likely candidates at this year’s European Championships… There’s a fine line between confidence and complacency. When the unfancied Greeks won Euro 2004 they qualified from their group at the expense of the highly rated Spain. Similarly Italy were sent packing by Denmark, while Germany lost out to the Czech Republic. GROUP B – Poles on

European Football Championship 2008 - The main man?

The last European Championships ended with Cristiano Ronaldo in tears as Portugal lost in the final, but this summer, euro2008. castrolindex.com users reckon the Manchester United man – currently not even in the CPI top 20 – will be crying tears of joy… Had the Castrol Performance Index been up and running for Euro 2004, Ronaldo would have starred prominently. He scored twice – once in the semi-final – and was

European Football Championship 2008: Respect for statistics

Former international referee and Castrol ambassador Pierluigi Collina was at the Portuguese MotoGP in Estoril last weekend to demonstrate the bearing of motorsport data on Castrol’s Performance Index system. Bologna-born Collina – who started refereeing at 17 “by accident” and ultimately took charge of the 2002 World Cup final – has been helping develop the Castrol innovative player performance analysis system, which will be used at the European Championships. And the

Moto GP: Portuguese

Castrol-backed Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis made real progress after racing in difficult conditions in the Portuguese Grand Prix on the Estoril Circuit near Lisbon, while out front rising Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo took first place - it was the 20-year-old Spaniard\'s first MotoGP win. Nakano had a difficult race after a slow start in light rain prevented him from fighting for the lead.

WTCC: Strong start in Brazil

The Castrol-backed BMW drivers opened the season with a double podium at the Curitiba circuit in Brazil, putting the team in a strong second place in the manufacturers\' championship. BMW\'s reigning world champion Andy Priaulx and stable mate Felix Porteiro finished race two in second and third respectively, as Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus rounded out an excellent team result by finishing in fourth and sixth. Farfus, who took his maiden WTCC

WTCC: Priaulx fights back in Mexico

Castrol-backed BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx put in a stunning performance to claim an against-the-odds top eight finish in the second round of the World Touring Car Championship. Despite the tight and twisty Puebla circuit in Mexico being the most difficult for the rear-wheel-drive BMW 320si, Priaulx fought hard in the second race of the day to keep his world championship defence on target with a point. After qualifying only 12th,

European Football Championship 2008: Movers and shakers

The old adage, ‘You’re only as good as your last game,’ is spot on for the Castrol Performance Index which calculates players’ scores from their last seven internationals. Excelling in the latest round of friendlies will boost a player’s score – and show that they’re hitting form at exactly the right time… GOALKEEPERS Jens Lehmann tops the goalkeeper rankings following Germany’s 4-0 drubbing of Switzerland. A series of crucial saves ensured Die

European Football Championship 2008: Footballers - born or made?

The question is almost as old as football itself, and while it will probably never be answered conclusively, it hasn’t stopped scientists from trying… Studies have found that players as disparate as Ossie Ardiles, Sir Stanley Matthews and Gazza had one physical quality in common: ring fingers significantly longer than their index fingers. The implication is that certain boys between eight and 12 weeks old are susceptible to high amounts of

Moto GP: Tough start at Qatar for Castrol teamsters

The first ever after-dark grand prix race in any form of motorsport, the opening round of the MotoGP season at Qatar, was a hard night’s work for the two new riders in the Castrol-backed Honda Gresini team. Only one of the Honda-mounted pair finished the race: the experienced Shinya Nakano, who gained points for 13th place after a busy ride from his 15th-placed qualifying position. Nakano was less than a tenth

European Football Championship 2008: Euro-Files- Greece

Check the odds on who the bookies think will win Euro 2008 and you’ll find nine nations ahead of current holders, Greece. But you won’t find coach Otto Rehhagel complaining. His side were 100-1 outsiders when they beat Portugal to win Euro 2004. Besides, last week’s friendly win against Portugal proved that they’re more than capable of beating Europe’s top sides once again… FROM THE TOP Having won 43 of his 78 matches

European Football Championship 2008: Wenger ‘inside’ the index

Castrol ambassador Arsène Wenger hits the TV screens to sing the praises of the Performance Index… During Monday night’s Inside Sport on BBC One, Arsenal boss and Castrol Performance Index ambassador Arsène Wenger discussed some of the benefits of using the Index – as well as the advantages of goal-line technology. Wenger – a man often described as ‘the professor’, with his degree in engineering and a Masters degree in economics –

Moto GP: Pedrosa claims right royal win

Spanish racer Dani Pedrosa won an audience with King Juan Carlos of Spain on Sunday, after a copybook start-to-finish victory in his home GP at Jerez in the south of the country. The second race of the season also brought improvement from the Castrol-backed Gresini Honda riders, who both finished in the points. The Pedrosa led from start to finish, while behind him Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi moved past team-mate and pole starter

WRC Rally: Castrol-Ford fight hard in Argentina

Castrol Ford Abu Dhabi drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen both scored points to keep the team at the head of the table after overcoming cruel fortunes in Argentina. Sebastien Loeb snatched the series lead with a trouble free run to victory over Chris Atkinson. The Finnish duo set fastest time on six of the eight muddy and fogged out stages of the opening day but unfortunately neither had a result

European Football Championship 2008: Romania seize the moment

A patient performance from Euro 2008 hopefuls Romania was ultimately rewarded with a comfortable 3-0 friendly victory against under-strength, fellow-finalists Russia in Bucharest. The Russians dominated the first half, enjoying 75 per cent of possession during one ruthless, five-minute spell. But despite winning more free-kicks and more corners than their hosts, Guus Hiddink’s side – made up entirely of home-based players – just could not find a breakthrough. Having been pegged back

European Football Championship 2008: Gomez steals the show

German supporters could be excused for a sense of déjà vû. In another game against one of the co-hosts of this summer’s European Championships, there was another convincing win and, with it, one more clean sheet for Joachim Löw’s tournament hopefuls. Moreover, Low saw a return to form for his strikers, with youngster Mario Gomez particularly impressing with a double that is sure to see him climb the Castrol Performance rankings. A

European Football Championship 2008: The Euro-Files: Poland

In the latest instalment of previews ahead of Euro 2008, we put Poland under the microscope... This summer the Red Eagles will be looking to make it third time lucky at a major international tournament. This will be their first ever appearance at the European Championships, but their scintillating performance in qualifying, where they finished above Portugal, Serbia and Finland in top spot, mirrors their form going into the 2002 and

European Football Championship 2008: Austria 0-3 Germany

Whatever Germany coach Joachim Löw said to his players at half time in their friendly against Austria this week, it worked. As the stats show, the UEFA Euro 2008TM co-hosts had Germany on the ropes for 45 minutes, before goals by Hitzlsperger, Klose and Gomez re-asserted the visiting squad’s status as potential tournament winners… In what was an entertaining dress rehearsal for the tournament\'s final group B game on June 16th,

European Football Championship 2008: Strike Force

Luca Toni is the hottest striker in Europe – at least according to the Castrol Performance Index. But how, precisely, did he get there…? Take a peak at the top goalscorers in qualifying for Euro 2008 and you won’t find the name Luca Toni in the top 10. Neither will you find Toni’s Italian team-mate Antonio di Natale. The Italian duo is, however, first and third in the Castrol Performance Index

European Football Championship 2008: Euro-Files: Spain

At the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland this summer, Spain coach Luis Aragones will be hoping his side can break their tag of perennial underachievers. Since winning the European Championships in 1964, La Furia Roja have failed to progress further than the quarter-finals in six European Championships and 12 World Cups. And while, this time around the Spanish enter the tournament with a solid backline and competition in both midfield

European Football Championship 2008: Friendly Previews

At this stage it\'s all about honing your squad. With some respite between qualifying and the tournament proper, here\'s how some of the world\'s finest footballing minds are tinkering ahead of this week\'s friendlies. In giving first call-ups to Olympique de Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda, Arsenal FC’s pacy full-back Gaël Clichy and AS Monaco FC striker Jérémy Menez for the game against Spain, Raymond Domenech is obviously trying to convey the

European Football Championship 2008: "I Wanted A Sofa..."

…and they bought me a lamp.” So said Rafa Benítez of Valencia CF’s transfer dealings on his behalf. Which Euro 2008 hopefuls were on the move during January’s transfer window? The transfer window is a manager’s equivalent of the bit in the marriage ceremony where the vicar asks the congregation to speak now of any impediment to the forthcoming nuptials or forever hold their peace. Coaches across Europe – some looking

European Football Championship 2008: League leaders

It’s a debate that continues to fuel discussions all over Europe: which is the strongest league on the continent? The Castrol Performance Index reveals all… The old adage ‘quality, not quantity’ is particularly relevant when it comes to the Castrol Performance Index. Assessing the top 20 players in each category of the rankings shows that the Spanish and German leagues are level pegging on 13 players each, with 12 players coming

European Football Championship 2008: And now the end is near

All good careers must come to an end. Here, we feature five national heroes for whom this summer’s Euro 2008 finals might be the final curtain, along with their possible replacements. Fabio Cannavaro (Italy) 1098pts At 34, the Azzurri skipper doesn’t look as assured as he did during the 2006 World Cup. For a player trained in the best defensive school in European football, being at the heart of Real Madrid CF’s

European Football Championship 2008: Stars on fire

These eight players are in the form of their life and poised to astonish, impress and dazzle on the playing fields of Austria and Switzerland this summer. Grégory Coupet France 3250pts The most highly rated keeper in the Castrol Performance Index rankings with 3250 points, Coupet had dreamed of playing for France from the age of six. Now 35 and in fine form, he has been single minded in his pursuit of

WRC Rally: Ford extends championship lead in Mexico

There was pre-event controversy when the stewards handed Loeb a 5 minute penalty for changing his engine after shakedown and then withdrew it after Citroen reinstalled the repaired unit. Then, on only the first stage, Loeb\'s team-mate Daniel Sordo retired after smashing his suspension on a rock. Once again benefiting from a good road position it was Latvala who took the early lead and defended his advantage against the assault from

European Football Championship 2008: The Euro-Files: Germany

Every major international football tournament is now preceded by a familiar refrain: the coaches and players of one of the favourites preparing their alibis by complaining they’ve played too many games. Joachim Löw and Germany will not be able to use that ploy ahead of Euro 2008. Their first-choice goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, has been a fringe player at Arsenal this season. Christoph Metzelder, once described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the

European Football Championship 2008: Don’t call us…

They may be big names whose presence at UEFA Euro 2008TM is widely expected, but here are four stars whose coaches may have other ideas... Deco (Portugal) This might sound absurd but some Portuguese fans say Luis Felipe Scolari shouldn’t take Deco to Euro 2008. His technique and industry drove Portugal to the Euro 2004 final and the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup but he has not fired on all cylinders

European Football Championship 2008 - The Euro-Files - Italy

National coaches are used to getting flak over their squad selections. But Roberto Donadoni’s continued refusal to select in-form national icon Alessandro Del Piero has astonished even the coach’s son Andrea. “Del Piero should have been called up,” Donadoni Jr told Gazzetta dello Sport. “With Juve he is playing at a very high level.” The good news – for Roberto – is that his son did agree with his other controversial

European Football Championship 2008: Croatia’s unlucky break

Anyone who saw the incident that broke Eduardo’s leg and ended his chances of playing at Euro 2008 may be astonished to hear that his club, Arsenal FC, and his country, Croatia, estimate that the striker may only be out for a year. Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has tried to put a brave a face on it, saying: “Our sorrow is not so large because of the Euro but because of

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