Mobil 1, Red Bull’s enhanced performance showcased at SEMA (VIDEO)

0 Comments

One of the under-the-radar changes that’s helped improve Red Bull Racing’s performance this year with its Renault-powered, TAG Heuer-badged power unit has been its switch in oil partners to ExxonMobil via Mobil 1, luring the oil giant away from its long-term relationship with McLaren.

The Red Bull chassis has been a more complete article this season and the power unit has delivered the performance to bring the car higher up the grid than a clear third best chassis. Red Bull lured Mobil 1 away from McLaren to replace Total; McLaren then switched to Castrol/BP.

It could be argued over the last month or so that Red Bull’s overall package has been consistently ahead of both Mercedes and Ferrari, and it’s witnessed Max Verstappen reel off 80 points in four races – most in the series.

For reference, owing to a spate of early season mechanical issues, Verstappen scored only 68 points in the first 14 races. But the tougher start to the season, Verstappen said, made him a “stronger driver.”

“I think since Singapore onwards, we basically gained a grid spot because of improved fuels and oils thanks to Mobil 1,” Verstappen told NBC Sports, speaking from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

“That was our biggest performance upgrade from the engine side, compared to what we had before. It has helped us a lot. The steps we are making this year are really big.”

Mobil 1’s most recent motorsports triumphs among many in North America have come via the Stewart-Haas Racing team in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition and with Corvette Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Cup Series race from Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford while Corvette secured its second straight IMSA GT Le Mans class title with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen sharing the team’s No. 3 Corvette C7.R.

“(F1) is a big part of our technical development and the innovation of our products,” said David Tsurusaki, Motorsports Technology Manager, ExxonMobil. “We spend a lot of time, effort and funding from our research group to develop products specifically for our Formula 1 team. It gives us an opportunity to look at future technology.

“We look at the technology in a Formula 1 engine and gearbox as cutting edge technology. If we can develop our products for the team, it gives us a heads-up on what’s coming for consumer vehicles.”

Verstappen then promptly showcased the Red Bull and Mobil 1 partnership in a series of donuts conducted at the SEMA Show on Friday night, in an older Red Bull chassis, the RB7. You can see the video, above.

Verstappen, who was making his first visit to the SEMA Show last week as part of a stay-in-North America tour before this week’s Brazilian Grand Prix, was awed by the sheer scale of the event.

“It’s really big! In Europe of course you have a similar kind of thing. But this is really impressive. It’s great to be here,” he said. “I haven’t really seen a lot from the whole thing. I need to discover a lot more to have an opinion!”

He also expanded on a Q&A he did with Formula 1’s official website noting he loves what he calls “stupid funny movies.” One that stood out?

Step Brothers,” he laughed.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.