Just as “Le Mans” is inextricably linked to sports cars and endurance racing, so the Motul name is known for the formulation, development and production of world-class endurance lubricants. The two French brands have enjoyed a long partnership together, and in 2011 this will be not only renewed but also increased.
This coming weekend sees the start of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO)’s international sports car racing season with the opening round of the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, a ‘world cup’ of sports car racing in all but name, taking place in Sebring, Florida. The historic 12-hour race, also the opening round of the American Le Mans Series, is on Saturday, March 19. This demanding track is considered by many as the best preparation and training for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June as well as an opportunity to measure up against the competition.
Within the 300V Motul products, the range dedicated to racing, the 20W60 lubricant was developed specially to deal with high-performance endurance engines and carries the name “Le Mans” in recognition of the partnership. Endurance racing thus occupies a vital place in Motul’s motorsport strategy.
This year Motul is delighted to welcome back to its stable of technical partners the legendary Pescarolo name, returning to competition and the La Sarthe event after a break in 2010, as one of four Le Mans prototype teams exclusively using Motul products and bearing its name. They are joined in the Le Mans Series and at the Le Mans 24 Hour race by the highly successful Team Oreca Matmut, who won the petrol-engined 24-hour race last year (finishing in fourth place overall behind three diesel-engined cars), and two new partners, TDS Racing and Greaves Motorsport.
In the GT categories, Motul will be represented by leading teams and manufacturers in every major sports car championship across the world, including long-time partner and former Le Mans GT1 winning team Larbre Compétition, who will be campaigning a Corvette GTE in 2011 in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and at the 24 Hour event. New partners Jota Sport AMR will race in the Le Mans Series, the West Racing Team in the American Le Mans Series with its Lamborghini, and – looking ahead to 2012 – Motul will be supporting the new Spyker Aileron, currently in development.
Amongst its roster of special relationships with manufacturers, Motul has enjoyed a long-term association with the racing subsidiary of Nissan: Nismo. The Nissan V8 engine which is being introduced to Europe in 2011, and which has been used in Super GT in Japan, will benefit from an experimental lubricant specially developed by Motul with Nismo. Co-branded as the “competition oil”, the lubricant will be used by the Nissan-engined teams in the GT1 World Championship. Its line-up of drivers includes former Formula One stars Enrique Bernoldi, David Brabham and Ricardo Zonta as well as a host of Le Mans winners and GT Champions.
Reinforcing its presence in endurance racing, Motul has renewed its commercial contract with the ACO and visitors to the Le Mans track will see Motul colours prominently displayed for the 24-hour races. In addition, Motul track signage will be displayed at all rounds of the Le Mans Series in 2011 and will be partners of the Classic Endurance Racing.
© Julien Philippy
© Julien Philippy