Corvette Racing takes the checkered flag while Mobil 1 takes learnings from the track back to consumers
As Oliver Gavin made the final turn on the final lap of the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut he savored an especially sweet victory. Driving the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, he crossed not just the finish line but a milestone in Corvette Racing: the team’s 100th victory. For good measure, the No. 3 Corvette finished less than a second behind to wrap up the top two positions in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s GT Le Mans class.
Emblazoned on the hood of each car were two iconic racing images: the Crossed Flags emblem of Corvette and the Mobil 1 logo. But what these two logos signify is not a mere sponsorship; it represents a lab that provides access to some of the most trying conditions a car can handle.
“The racetrack is the ultimate proving ground – a lab for our products where we can test their limits in the most extreme conditions,” said David Tsurusaki, ExxonMobil, strategic global alliance manager. “We take what we learn there and apply it to our consumer products for all Corvette owners and drivers in general.”
This is important at a race like Le Mans. Unlike circle track racing with a set distance, endurance races like Le Mans test just how far the team of drivers – and the incredible machines they pilot – can go. In the case of Le Mans, this means a grueling 24 hours of high-performance precision, pushing the limits of speed while ensuring the integrity of the vehicle…and the team of drivers. The race is in France in June, when heat is a factor, and each car’s engine starts and stops countless times over the 24-hour period.
These conditions test every part of the team including the pit crew, and each component and material in the race car. This is why Mobil 1 is an active partner in the racing team, helping formulate high-performance lubricants that can withstand the rigors of endurance races like Le Mans. The Mobil 1 brand has been part of every engine start, every practice lap and every Corvette Racing win since the factory team first began to take shape in 1996. Since that time, Mobil 1 engineers have worked closely with the team and General Motors Propulsion Systems to develop and test new lubricant technologies that touch nearly every moving part of the racecar, protecting against wear and increasing efficiency and performance.
“The crucible of the racetrack provides the data to create formulations that eventually make their way to the everyday wear and tear of consumer vehicles,” said Andrew Moran, ExxonMobil’s US motorsports technology advisor. In fact, Mobil 1 motor oil is Corvette’s factory-recommended lubricant, and more than 650,000 Corvettes featuring Mobil 1 lubricant technology have rolled off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
“This has been a great collaboration that can really be traced all the way back to the 1950s, even before Mobil 1 and the factory racing team,” said Tsurusaki. “Mobil 1 products have not only helped the Corvette factory team to more than 100 victories, but have also contributed to many more independent victories by race teams around the world.” As far as partnerships go, this one is significant – a long-standing relationship that helped develop Mobil 1 in the 1970s as well as advanced Mobil 1 motor oils, gear oils and greases.
Watch a short video highlighting Corvette Racing’s 100th victory.