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Motul’s IMSA Involvement Runs Fast, Far and through 2026

The Global Oil and Lubricant Producer Has Extended Its Partnership with IMSA


By David Phillips


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It may seem odd to refer to its title sponsorship of the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta as the tip of the French motor oil and industrial lubricant giant’s partnership with IMSA. After all, the title sponsorship of the climactic event in each year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifies as a pretty big “tip.”


Then again, Motul’s partnership with IMSA is a pretty big iceberg. From its role as the official motor oil of IMSA and sponsor of the Motul Pole Award, to its ubiquitous track signage throughout the WeatherTech Championship and sponsorship of competitors such as Pfaff Motorsports and BMW Team RLL, it’s no exaggeration to say Motul is fully integrated within the entire IMSA ecosystem.


The strength of the relationship became even stronger on Friday, when IMSA and Motul jointly announced an extension of the partnership through 2026.


“This is our fifth year involved in IMSA,” says Nolan Browning, marketing manager for Motul. “Coming to the States, I joked for a while that a lot of people thought we made track banners because of how prevalent our Motul signage is at racetracks. You go to Le Mans and the track is covered in Motul signs because the brand awareness is so strong. I always say all those eyeballs seeing our track signage is great, but we also need to explain what our brand does.”


IMSA is the ideal environment to do just that, according to Browning. Even as event sponsorships and track signage increase brand awareness, partnerships with teams enable Motul to develop close working relationships with manufacturers and suppliers to enhance the development of racing oils and lubricants.


“That was our jump over here, establishing a partnership with the series to open the door to more access, to run tests, to take samples from the teams.” he says. “In the last couple of years, we’ve signed partnerships with BMW Motorsport in GT Le Mans and Pfaff Motorsports with their GT Daytona Porsche. Both those teams used our oil and this year they used the new version of our 300V oil in a lot of their development. The new formula came from taking samples after races like Daytona and Sebring with the BMW and Pfaff teams, and continuing to refine that, seeing more horsepower, better protection over the long haul.


“That’s why IMSA makes so much sense: When we put a sticker on a car, one of our requirements is that they have to run our products. That involves us talking and working with Porsche and BMW. We do certain tests and requirements that are different from what they typically run, so we made those arrangements with BMW and Porsche and we’ve seen some success, especially Pfaff going into Petit hopefully giving us a championship.”


One of the more innovative elements of Motul’s racing program is its Motul Racing Lab. Long a fixture at events like the Dakar Rally and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the lab enables Motul chemists and technicians to analyze key markers of their oils’ performance in (nearly) real time. Last year, the Motul Racing Lab made its maiden U.S. appearance in the Michelin Raceway paddock during the Motul Petit Le Mans. What’s more, in addition to race teams, spectators were encouraged to avail themselves of the expertise on offer.


“Previously it had been a race team only concept where after qualifying and the race we’d take a sample of the used oil to give them feedback on engine wear and things like that,” Browning explains. “Last year at the Motul Petit Le Mans, we also made it available to the fans, and it was very well received.


‘We’d take a small sample of oil from their dip sticks and give them feedback. It was kind of cool because we’d just gotten done testing the BMW team and the Mazda prototypes, and for the fan to get the same test for their Mini Cooper or Corvette was pretty neat. We let them know what they should be looking for, what the metal deposits, fuel dilution and things like that are telling us about their engine.


“It enabled us to show people that, sure we make racing products, but we also make synthetic service products for your everyday commute using similar blends to the formulas and blends that we discovered through racing.


“The natural reaction was for people to say, ‘Oh, you’re going to run the tests and then say, ‘Hey, you should be using Motul!’” Browning continues. “But it’s not really about that. We want to show them that we’re experts in this field and we want to give them the science behind it. We want them to see our chemists and engineers that run the machine are able to describe to the car owner what they’re seeing and what’s important. So the consumer can discover us that way as experts in the field – not just by us giving them the hard sell to switch to our oil.”


The Motul Racing Lab is back for a return engagement this weekend at the Motul Petit Le Mans in what has been a landmark season for Motul.


“This year is especially important because we’re celebrating our 50th year of 300V, our motorsports racing oil,” says Browning. “So, for at least 50 years, we’ve been focused on motorsports.”


That focus only figures to intensify across the platform of Motul’s commitment to IMSA. The partnership extension includes continuing entitlement sponsorship for Petit Le Mans as well as the Motul Pole Award for qualifying in both the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. The Motul Pole Award will expand to include all five WeatherTech Championship classes in 2022 with addition of the new GTD PRO class. And there’s more.


“We have partnerships with a number of tracks on various levels,” says Browning. “Long Beach is our home track, so we’re an official partner of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. That’s always a big event for us. We have a lot of activation in the local market, and it was great to see the turnout there this year after the event was postponed in 2020 and this spring.


“We’re excited about the future of our partnership with IMSA, especially with new manufacturers coming on board with the new LMDh car. So, we’re going to continue to work and expand the partnership with new developments across the board, not only with BMW and Pfaff. We have technical partnerships across the paddock in LMP2, LMP3, some of the DPi teams. It’s across the board letting us assist in the development of those platforms, so we’re excited about the future.”


To learn more about Motul and its array of line of products, visit motul.com.