From the original Corvette LT1 to the 505 HP Corvette Z06 engines
The General Motors (GM) Chevrolet Corvette race program can trace it origins back 50 years to the original V-8 engines that powered the company’s range of road cars. GM’s desire to demonstrate its engineering ability at the highest level led, in 1996, to the formation of the Mobil 1™ motor oil-supported Corvette Racing program.
“When I was challenged by Herb Fishel to establish the Corvette Racing team, the decision over which motor oil we would run was one I didn’t need to linger over,” said Doug Fehan, GM Program Manager, Corvette Racing. “Mobil 1 has an unrivalled record with engine designers and tuners. The decision was a simple one.”
As Mike Atkins, Purchasing/Customer Service Manager for Pratt & Miller, explains, “Mobil 1 has always been highly regarded throughout GM by the GTO, Cadillac and GTS V8 race program teams. We needed a lubricant to initially maximize power and reliability of the Corvette’s road-orientated engine but also provide a stable platform from which to help develop its potential.” Mobil 1 5W-30 synthetic oil has also been used by the ECOTEC Powered Pontiac Solstice GXP Drift Team and Cobalt SS Sports Compact Drag Racing team.
During this decade of development, the team has continued using Mobil 1 lubricants on the strength of the tests undertaken. “Why Mobil 1 after 10 years? “asks Doug Fehan. “Well, nobody’s developed anything better.”
Maximizing performance parameters
The reasons why GM technicians choose to work with Mobil 1 lubricants is better understood by reviewing testing and race conditions. Mobil 1 oils have long held a reputation for performing in extreme conditions, a reputation built through participation in many of the world’s most arduous racing series, including Formula 1, NASCAR, drag racing, and now Formula D Drifting and Sports Compact Drag Racing. Any race team looking for an instant-win solution to their lubrication needs is reassured by having access to technology developed under a wide variety of driving conditions.
What distinguishes Mobil 1 synthetic oil from other products is the unique combination of base stocks and additives. Mobil 1 motor oil contains high-performance synthetic fluids, with superior low and high temperature performance properties (as a result of their higher viscosity index). Additionally Mobil 1's component blended formulation contains additives designed to maximize engine performance.
ExxonMobil was first approached in early 1990s when GM was seeking a high-temperature performing lubricant. In response, ExxonMobil created a high-temperature performance specification based around the performance capabilities of Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil. Since then this specification of Mobil 1 motor oil has been used as factory fill for the Corvette Z06, ZR1 and Grand Sport Coupe sports cars and other high-temperature performance engines for GM. Although similar in some respects to the road car’s requirements, the GM Racing team’s needs are based upon three performance parameters: outright power, improved engine reliability and component durability. The teams are only interested in a lubricant offering the best combination of all three.
“Our engines must be fast,” Fehan explains. “But there’s no point adding 3bhp and risking 24-hour reliability. Continuous testing has shown Mobil 1 offers the best combination of power, reliability and durability. ”
As these high-performance track experiences can attest, Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil has proven its ability to withstand extremely high temperatures, and continue to offer the same level of engine protection and performance.