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Ligier grabs Castrol - and Elf!

CURIOUS goings-on are not unusual at Ligier these days, although rumors in France this week have confounded everyone because it seems that the team is to have backing from not one but two competing oil companies in 1996: longtime Ligier sponsor Elf and Castrol.

Castrol has been involved in Grand Prix racing since the 1920s. Its most recent success was in 1983 with Nelson Piquet's Brabham-BMW. In the late 1980s Castrol was involved in sportscar racing with the Silk Cut TWR Jaguar team and Sauber Mercedes. The demise of sportscar racing prompted Castrol to return to F1 as a major sponsor of Team Lotus in 1993. The company has also maintained a strong presence in rallying with the Toyota Team.

The closure of Lotus and the banning of Toyota, however, has left Castrol without a major sporting program and it seems that Tom Walkinshaw has convinced the company to splash out for Ligier. Elf will only be involved on Olivier Panis's overalls!

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