Rapid development: Lucas Oil performance partners

Barry Cantrell/Motosports Images

Rapid development: Lucas Oil performance partners

The modern world of motorsports partnerships goes well beyond an exchange of money for a logo on the side of the car. That is especially true when the sponsor involved is producing products for the motorsports industry, such as Lucas Oil. Not only is it a marketing effort, it’s a high-speed research and development project.

“We look at partnerships that are not just going to be a sticker and money and we don’t talk to you for the rest of the year,” says Lucas Oil’s director of Partnership Marketing, Brandon Bernstein. “We want a two-way street. We want them to use the product, test the product and see that the product actually works – that’s our tagline: ‘It Works!’ We always want to develop the product in a better way. If there’s something they want us to tweak, make it better, do something different… we’re always in the research and development side of it, trying to make it better for them.”

That’s something that Action Express Racing knows well. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team has been using Lucas Oil products in the engine of its No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPI-V.R for years. The 2018 champions have a win and a couple of second-place finishes so far in 2021, but they’ve also faced some issues, including gearbox trouble at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. So they turned to Lucas for assistance.

Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr celebrate winning the WeatherTech 240 at the Glen in their Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. For Lucas Oil, the race has been another grueling, but successful test for its high-performance Lucas Racing Gear Oil.

“We reached out to Lucas and asked them to give us an education on what it takes to lubricate a gearbox,” explains Gary Nelson, team manager for Action Express. “The requirement is a lot different than an engine with oil pressure; the gears are being splash fed and the teeth of the gears are banging together as the gears turn, so we knew it was a completely different requirement. They hooked us up with their best chemist guys and we got our engineering guys on a conference call and asked how we move forward. We did a test, tried it out, and we were very satisfied with the result. Now we race with the Lucas engine oil and the gearbox oil.”

After the test, the team tore the gearbox apart, measured clearances to look for wear, inspected for discoloring or scuffing, and found nothing. The engineers closed the loop by giving Lucas a full report on what they found.

Lucas has built a similar partnership with ECR Engines, the engine-building subsidiary of Richard Childress Racing, which supplies engines to a host of NASCAR teams at all levels, and also the Cadillac engines for the marque’s IMSA DPi program. “It’s unbelievable what we’ve been able to develop with those guys and how we’ve brought them a much better product over the years,” says Bernstein. “We’ve developed an extremely raceable oil that performs to the utmost level of NASCAR.

“We try to make sure we have the right partnerships and have aligned ourselves with the best people in the industry,” he adds. “We make sure our products are out there so people can really understand these are the same products you can buy off the shelf for your everyday car.”

Lucas Racing Gear Oil provides excellent thermal stability and longevity throughout the entire drive train system. Lucas specifically developed its formula with special anti-wear agents and lubricity agents to control wear and drag, as well as special additives to control heat.

Lucas High Performance Racing Only Motor Oil is a purpose-built product designed for the high-performance racing industry. It’s blended with an exclusive additive package that includes lubricity agents and anti-seize agents that control drag like a zero-weight oil and protect metal like a heavy multi-viscosity oil.

For more on Lucas Oil in motorsports and its race-proven lubricants, go to lucasoil.com/racing.

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