Witham News


Watch British engine manufacturers – Gibson Technology Ltd and Motul lubricants in action…

Posted on Wednesday January 27, 2021

Based at a dedicated engineering, product development and manufacturing facility, located in Repton, Derbyshire and employing over 60 staff, Gibson Technology is a world leading supplier of expertise in high performance race engines.

Motul supplies Gibson Technology with high performing lubricants and fluids at their engine assembly areas and high performance engine testing and manufacturing facilities.

Gibson Technology’s engines are designed to be pushed to the absolute limits. They’ve seen incredible recent success, including United Autosports’ win at the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020.

We’re proud to supply Motul autormotive lubricants throughout the UK. So take a look at the amazing video below, which goes behind the scenes and of how engines and lubricant technology is combined…

Read more about Witham Motorsport, the Motul automotive lubricant range and how we support distributors, teams and drivers here.

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Technical update by our Operations & Technical Director, Michael Kenyon

Posted on Tuesday January 26, 2021

With over 30-years’ experience in the lubricants industry, our Technical and Operations Director, Michael Kenyon is always available for lubricant application and approval advice.

Witham Group constantly appraises and updates its product range, working with the largest and most respected global technology providers, ensuring the correct oil for the correct application is achieved at all times.

Here is our latest lubricant technical update about truck approvals.

Renault Trucks

Since their acquisition by Volvo Trucks, Renault Truck approvals have mirrored Volvo approvals. Volvo have already released their new VDS-5 specification into the service fill market but there has been a delay in making this specification available to the lubricant blenders. The Union of the European Lubricants Industry (UEIL), have challenged Volvo on this delay.

Volvo have clarified their position and confirmed lubricants meeting Volvo -VDS 4.5 can be used in place of the new Volvo VDS-5. Our Qualube Extremol FS 10W-30 is formally approved by Volvo as meeting VDS 4.5 so can be
used with confidence both inside and outside of warranty.

As Volvo issue both specifications, it is unsurprising that UEIL have taken issue regarding the newly released Renault RLD-5 also. Below is the UEIL bulletin that details Volvo Trucks response as well as clarification as to suitable substitutes:

“The Union of the European Lubricant Industry (UEIL) is the umbrella association of the European Lubricants Industry, representing their members and, in particular, the interests of SMEs and independent lubricant companies. To date, the UEIL represents more than 450 lubricant companies, who manufacture and distribute lubricant products under their own various trademarks throughout the European Union. With members in more than 22 European Countries and a unique collective experience of lubricants and the lubricants market, UEIL is the sole representative body for independent manufacturers of lubricants in Europe and has been recognised as such by the European Commission. It is UEIL’s policy to favour free and fair competition within the scope of prevailing EU and national laws”.

“UEIL has recently been in touch with Mr. Bengt Otterholm, Volvo Group Lubricants Coordinator, about RLD-5 Renault Trucks specification. He has informed us that their target is to have the RLD-5 specification available in the public domain by the end of 2020. He has also specified that RLD-5 oils are only allowed in the most recent 13L engines (Euro VI Step D) and are not backwards compatible to any other engine. RLD-5 is not an exclusive requirement ; all engines, including the 13L Euro VI Step D, can use RLD-3 quality. UEIL thanks Volvo Group for this information.”

The Witham Group have a number of products that meet both RLD-3 and approved RLD-4 also, so please speak to our Sales or Technical team for more information.

MAN

MAN Trucks are releasing two new specifications to market.

1 – MAN M3777 allows a further 20,000 KM longer oil drain and is predominately recommended for severe conditions. The current MAN M3677 is met by our Qualube Supremol 5W-30 which will likely be upgraded to this new specification as it is confirmed to be backward compatible to M3677. This specification is expected to hit the market end of 2021 or early 2022.

2 – MAN M3977 which will be an SAE 5W-20 viscosity fuel efficient grade for their next generation engines which will become active Q2, 2021. This will be a new product in the range and will not be backward compatible to earlier specifications.

Scania

Scania have updated their gear & transmission specifications. Previously Scania Trucks had STO:1 which was available in various grades and would cover both gear & transmission applications.

These have now been updated and separated out under two new extended drain specifications, namely:

• Transmission – STO:2G SAE 75W-90. This will be covered by our new product – Qualube Syntogear SG 75W-90.
• Axles – STO:2A SAE 75W-140. This will be covered by our new product – Qualube Syntogear SA 75W-140.

Both grades will be backward compatible to the earlier STO:1 These two new products are in the process of being submitted to Scania Trucks and will be ready for sale January 2021.

We’re here to help

For more information about products for commercial vehicles please contact your Sales or Technical Team at your local depot, or visit our website.

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A Look Back at our 2020 Motorsport Team’s successes

Posted on Tuesday January 26, 2021

As we await news on how motorsport will open up in 2021, we are working hard with our drivers and teams, engine builders and manufacturers to prepare for the season ahead. Despite so many of the non elite races being cancelled last year for car clubs and smaller events, many Motorsport events did take place, albeit behind closed doors and Witham Motorsport and Motul are extremely proud that our UK drivers and teams experienced some great results. We take a fond look back….

1. British Touring Car Championship Success: Tom Ingram & Speedworks sign off BTCC season with pole position and podium hat trick at Brands Hatch

Congratulations to our Motul supported driver Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe on an awesome performance in the BTCC! They finished 4th in the final standings, after deliering three wins, eleven podiums and a pole position this season. It’s been such a brilliant season to watch – and we look forward to more success in 2021.

Motul Oil used in 80% of BTCC Teams

Witham Motorsport, the official UK Importers and Distributors of Motul lubricants, are super proud that Swindon Powertrain Limited have produced the 2020 BTCC championship winning TOCA engine, using MotulTech lubricants. The TOCA engine has once again excelled within this year’s BTCC pack by supplying over 80% of all the teams in the series.

All original TOCA engine development has been carried out by the highly acclaimed Swindon Powertrain Limited, who are Motul Technical Lubricant Partners and recommend Motul X-Power 10w/50 engine oil for their TOCA Engines.

2. 24 Hour Le Mans: United Autosports Conquers Le Mans 24 Hours Race with Motul!

We were delighted to see that the Motul supported United Autosports team took the chequered flag to claim victory in the intensely contested LMP2 category at Le Mans 24 Hours in September.

This was a fantastic result – not only for this win but also for clinching the FIA WEC LMP2 Championship title – a first World Endurance Championship title for the team in its first year at the top of international endurance racing. Motul has been partnered with United since 2016 when the team claimed its first European Le Mans Series Championship.

3. Goodwood Speedweek: Andrew and Mike Jordan Win St Mary’s Trophy for 2nd Year Running

Well done to our Motul brand ambassador and his father Mike Jorgan for some amazing action at Goodwood Speedweek. For the 2nd year running the Jordan Race Team have taken home the St Mary’s Trophy at Goodwood using Motul fluids. Congratulations to the entire team and best of luck for the 2021 season!

4. Daytona Cobra – Silverstone: Motor Racing Legends at Silverstone

Congratulations to Calum Lockie who won the inagural RAC Historic Tourist Trophy 3 hour race in his Daytona Cobra at the Motor Racing Legends race weekend at Silverstone in October. We supply Calum and his team with Motul oils for his classic sports cars.

5. Historic Sports Car Weekend – Silverstone: Blakeney Garage Team Compete in Historic Race at Silverstone

Here’s the Blakeney Garage Ltd Mustang making its debut at Silverstone for the Historic Sports Car Club finals weekend. The car and team looking dapper with their Motul Classic branding! We are proud to be working with father anf son team Mark and Luke Davenport who we know through Witham Royal Warrant Holders initially and we’ll be supporting them going forward with their garage workshop and racing events next year.

6. BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship: Todd Crooks Motorsport Team Wins in Rallycross

Well done to Todd Crooks Motorsport who won 2 prizes in the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship this season. Todd won the Supermodified 2101cc and above class title and Helen won the Classic Minicross class title, in her first full season on racing! Both cars were using Motul oils.

7. Caterham 270R Championship 2020: Lars Hoffman Crowned 270R Champion

Motul driver Lars Hoffman has been crowned the 2020 Motul 270R Champion – and the final race was right down to the wire. Lars also successfully achieved the most number of pole positions in the championship.

8. Caterham 310R Championship 2020: Tom Gresinger Proud of 2020 Caterham Performance

Speedworks driver Tom Gresinger has had a great season in the Caterham 310R 2020 championship. Starting the season with a broken wrist, he didn’t even know if he’d get to race. But with hard work and determination from the fantastic team at Speedworks HQ, it was made possible. Tom commented, “I may have missed out on the championship win, but my performance this season is something I’ll always be proud of. Who knows what next year will bring, but whatever I do, I’ll be back fighting.”

9. Drifting Championship 2020

Driver Olly Silcock and JD Motorsport Engineering have had a great season in the British Drift Championship, using Motul oils, despite many events being cancelled. JDM are based in Norfolk and offer car preparation and fabrication services, as well as helping drivers and teams with all their motorsport engineering requirements.

10. Time Attack & British GT Championships: Tegiwa success

Congratulations to our customer Tegiwa who achieved a victory in the Time Attack Championship in their Honda NSX and picked up a trophy in the British GT in their BMW M4 GT4. The Tegiwa drivers, supported by Century Motorsport, use Motul 300v engine oil and RB700 brake fluid in both of the winning cars. Here’s Tegiwa’s summary of what their 2020 season entailed:

Our plan for the 2020 season was to do a full-season entry into Time Attack UK with our Honda NSX which was running a fresh K24 engine built by the guys at Skunk2 Racing over in America. As we’d not competed in Time Attack before I think it was fair to say that we were slightly apprehensive as to what we should expect as the calibre of car in the championship is very high. However, no sooner had we got to the opening round at Oulton Park than we’d picked up our inaugural victory in the series, the first of many to come!

Over the course of the season our NSX performed faultlessly, leading the majority of the season in the top spot and quickly becoming the car to beat. Although the Time Attack season was cut short due to the ongoing global pandemic, we’d done enough to secure the championship and take home the Club 2 wheel drive trophy! Alongside our ventures in Time Attack, we’d also secured a 2 round entry into British GT with our BMW M4 GT4. Our first outing was at Oulton Park where our drivers, Luke Sedzikowski and David Whitmore got some much needed seat time after missing much of the off season due to a delay with delivery of the car. With this being their first experience driving on slick tyres, it was a totally different ball game, with the new, unparalleled levels of grip taking their driving experience up a level.

Nevertheless, a solid performance from the car and our drivers saw them take home their first AM/AM trophy of the season, finishing 1st in their respective class. We then headed over to Donington Park for our second entry in the season. The drivers performed better than ever before and were closely hunting down their competitors. After a well fought race and battling a couple of technical issues, we picked up our second AM/AM trophy, again, finishing at the top of our class.

11. F1 Powerboat Race Series 2020: Team Enforcer win 2nd place in F1 Powerboat Series

Congratulations to Team Enforcer 922 who achieved 2nd place in the OCRDA National Powerboat Race Series this year and look set for a strong performance in the World Championships next year after a recent practice run at Lake Como in Italy. Here the team – brothers Nick and Jeremy Newsam – give a summary of their 2020 season:

We gave 922 a full engine rebuild over Winter 2019/Spring 2020, gained Motul/Witham Group and Antigravity Batteries as sponsors, as well as some more local businesses. Then along came Covid-19! We spent months thinking we would not be able to race during 2020, BUT we managed to secure two venues, resulting in 8 races this year during September and October. This was, of course, a somewhat reduced season compared to our normal 6 race weekends each year, but we were pleased with strong performances in all races this year which resulted in second place in the
National Championship.

Looking forward to 2021, we are planning a few more alterations to the boat which will reduce the overall weight and gain an extra few precious miles per hour. The National Organisation whose series we race in is also fortunate enough to be hosting the UIM 3A, B and J classes in our home town of Torquay in June 2021. This will be a very prestigious and well publicised event, which we are very excited to be taking part in. We took the long drive down to Lake Como in Italy to participate in a warm-up for next year’s World Championship, just to see what we were up against. Even though being the heaviest boat there, we achieved 5th in the Worlds, so with the alterations that we are doing, we are hoping for a much stronger potential placing in 2021.

Read more about Witham Motorsport, the Motul automotive lubricant range and how we support distributors, teams and drivers here.

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Charities to benefit from Witham Group 100th anniversary carving gift

Posted on Monday January 25, 2021

Witham Group is making donations to three local charities, after a gift was donated to the company to celebrate their 100th anniversary.

Due to a long-standing relationship with the company spanning three generations of his family, Mr John Lord has dedicated over 420 hours to creating an intricate carving, made from locally-grown English Lime tree, to depict the story of Witham Group leading up to their milestone anniversary this year.

Witham Oil & Paint is a privately owned, family run business with its head office and lubricant manufacturing based in Lincoln. With trade depots in Lowestoft, Suffolk and Soham, Cambridgeshire, the business is today collectively known as the Witham Group. The company have supplied agricultural lubricants and industrial paints to the Lord family’s farming operation at Hough-on-the-Hill, Grantham for over 50 years.

The 6ft carving shows the evolution of the company’s name, its various locations throughout Lincoln and growth into other counties, the prestigious granting of the Royal Warrant and the many different industries to which Witham Group supplies their products.

Gifted in recognition of their shared history, Witham Group has chosen to make donations to three of the Lord family’s chosen charities as a gesture of gratitude: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Hough on the Hill – All Saints Church and the Grantham Farmers Benevolent Fund.

Nigel R Bottom, Managing Director of the Witham Group said, “It is such a staggeringly generous and unique gift. Very thoughtful, exceptionally well crafted and we are absolutely blown away by John’s talent and thoughtfulness to produce such a piece. We look forward to displaying the carving at our Head Office in Lincoln.”

The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance has been established since 1994 and has completed over 21,000 missions to date, despite receiving no direct government funding. Local All Saints Church in Hough-on-the-Hill continues to support their local community as it has for decades, and the final charity to benefit, the Grantham Farmers Benevolent Fund, is a lifeline for the local farming community when suffering hardship.

Witham Group will be marking its rich history and 100 year anniversary with celebrations throughout the year.

Read more about Witham Group and its rich history here.

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Witham Group features in Classics Monthly

Posted on Thursday January 21, 2021

We’re delighted to see our products recommended in the February Classics
Monthly car magazine. The article, focused on general workshop lubrication and cleaning, looks at oil spills and cleaning solutions, as well as helpful suggestions for easing rusted parts, and keeping tools and working components maintained.

With recommendations for our Citrusol Fast Acting Cleaner, Penetrating Oils, Multi-ease sprays and award-winning Prolan Anti-Sieze Grease, read the full article below…

General Maintenance and Cleaning Up

In the final instalment of our maintenance and servicing guide, we look at lubrication and degreasing when it comes to general maintenance and cleaning.

Words and photography: Rob Hawkins

Grease and oil can be your friend or your enemy when it comes to classic cars. They are needed to keep parts moving freely, but when mixed with dirt they can form a paste that destroys components, and when applied to the wrong parts (such as brake discs) can potentially have catastrophic consequences. Sometimes it can seem like a constant battle to keep certain parts clean and other parts lubricated!

It’s perhaps fair to say that the main aim of grease (or any maintenance lubricant) is to keep a component moving freely, but there’s more to this subject and you have to know your products. Take the slider pins used in many single-piston brake calipers from the 1980s onwards, for example. If these pins are fitted through rubber inserts, then lubricating them with a thick copper grease may cause them to become clogged up and stuck, while using a low-meltingpoint grease may see the grease run out onto the brake disc.

More of this later, but perhaps the first point to discuss is the common types of grease and lubricants, and how and where they should be used. One found in virtually all garages is an all-rounder such as WD40, Qualube Multi-Ease Lubricant or GT85. These are a thin liquid, often supplied in an aerosol can, and seem to be able to do a multitude of tasks such as dispersing moisture from damp HT leads and electrical connections, loosening rusty or seized fastenings, dissolving dirt or grime and
lubricating moving parts.

One of the most useful aspects of those all-rounders is their ability to undo stubborn or corroded fastenings, but there are also a range of products dedicated to this job alone. These are penetrating oils such as Qualube Graphite Penetrating Oil, which is available in an aerosol can. It contains micronized graphite particles, which can work their way into a fastening and should help prevent subsequent seizing of mechanical parts, even when they are exposed to high temperatures.

Prevention is always better than cure though, so whilst it’s useful to know what to use when a fastening seizes or electrical contacts are damp, it’s also worth knowing how to avoid such problems. In many cases, applying a lubricant or some form of protection is the answer. Where nuts, bolts and similar fastenings may need to be undone in the near or distant future, protecting them in a coating of some form of grease or something similar will usually help. Providing it cannot be physically removed and isn’t at risk of being washed off, then a coating of copper grease or even multipurpose grease can often help. Alternatively, Prolan Anti-Seize Grease is a suitable protective product that is biodegradable and has been proven to last up to 30 years. It’s ideal for protecting fastenings, but can also be applied to battery terminals.

There are several general purpose maintenance lubricants that can raise questions concerning longevity and potential problems. Silicone based lubricants for instance are useful for avoiding the risk of clogging up a moving component as the liquid lubricant is thin, so there’s less moving part becomes choked. It can be useful for applying inside a door lock, a
bonnet release mechanism or a hinge. However, some owners don’t like this because it’s difficult to clean off exterior paintwork and trim. Should these areas need to be resprayed, then silicone in grease and silicone-based cleaners can react with fresh paint. So a light spray grease, such as a general white grease, is often a more popular choice for those door locks, hinges and release mechanisms. This is similar to the traditional 3-in-1 oil, but is a little thicker, and because it’s white, you can see where it has been applied.

Dedicated grease

There are a number of specific greases that can be applied to particular components and materials. Rubber grease (red in colour) is useful for keeping rubber seals and Applying a tiny smear of rubber grease to a rubber seal on the fuel filler cap for instance will help prevent it drying out and turning brittle. It may also help where stainless steel slider pins are fitted through rubber guides on brake calipers.

Brake grease has replaced traditional copper grease on many modern cars and emerging classics when applying it to the backs and edges of brake pads. The thinking behind using a non-metal-based grease is to avoid problems should the grease contaminate electrical sensors such as a wheel speed sensor for the ABS or a low brake pad warning sensor. It’s a valid point, but typically this means brake grease is much more expensive than copper grease, yet it seems to merely be a high melting-point grease that won’t turn runny under heat generated from heavy braking.

Cleaning up

The flipside to grease is surely the need to clean it up, whether it’s coating the exterior of a sump pan, clogging up the thread of a bolt or the risk of contaminating a component.

And there are also aspects that are not part of a car, but which need cleaning, ranging from your hands and clothes to the garage floor. A dedicated degreaser is often a worthwhile investment for breaking down grease. Qualube Solvent Degreaser is one example, and as the product information explains, it’s not solely suitable for automotive applications, stating: ‘Qualube Degreaser is a solvent-based cleaning fluid that is used neat to rapidly dissolve oil, grease, fats and other deposits which bind dirt particles on surfaces. It can be applied by brush, dipping or low-pressure spray and can easily be removed with water by a pressure washer or hosepipe.’ The product information continues to say that it is used in commercial workshops and is a cost effective multi-purpose cleaning fluid with a proven track record. It costs from £14.72 for five litres.

Another type of degreaser is a citrus based product. Squeezing lemons over
your engine won’t quite work in the same way, and works out a lot more expensive than spending £27.66 on five litres of, for example, Qualube Citrusol. This fast-acting cleaner is suitable for removing a range of oils and greases, but is also widely used within the food industry. It can be applied to a variety of work surfaces (stainless steel, vinyl) and floors (concrete, plastic, anti-slip).

Many people don’t use a degreaser to remove oil and grease, but a readily
available product such as petrol or paraffin. This can be effective and may be cheaper, but could leave a residue. Brake, clutch Applying a dedicated red rubber grease to rubber seals can help to keep them supple. Solvent Degreaser is a solvent-based cleaning fluid that is used neat to rapidly dissolve oil, grease, fats and other deposits.

In some cases, especially if there’s a large amount of grease or oil to remove, it may be easier to find some means of mopping it up. A bag of sand, for example, can absorb a pool of oil whether it’s fresh or has accumulated over several years.

Products such as absorbent granules and paper roll wipes are designed to be more effective and are often similarly priced to an equivalent bag of sand – Qualube Absorbent Granules cost £6.94 for 20 litres.

Keeping yourself clean and clear of oil and grease is just as important. Work gloves, disposable gloves and barrier creams can help to protect your skin, which is essential to avoid irritation and potential skin problems. Should you need to clean your hands, then a nail brush and neat washing-up liquid may be the cheapest answer, but it can lead to problems, so invest in something that helps condition the skin and restore it, or apply something afterwards. QualKleen heavy-duty hand cleaner for instance contains natural orange oil, pumice and esters. It’s designed to remove oil, grease, paint, ink, tar and typical dirt and grime. The pumice and esters help with cleaning, whereas the orange oil is for a fragrant smell.

Keeping your clothes clear of oil and grease is possibly the biggest challenge
that many of us concede to failing at. Wearing overalls or clothing that is past its best is the easiest solution, instead of trying to remain spotlessly clean, which as we all know is impossible to achieve when working on a classic car.

Shop our full range of Workshop & Cleaning products here.

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10 Things You Never Knew about The Dakar Rally 2021

Posted on Wednesday January 13, 2021

The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally took place earlier this month in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. The event began on January 3rd and ran until January 15th, during which time the riders and drivers covered hundreds of miles every day in some of the planet’s toughest conditions. This is the second time Saudi Arabia has hosted the Dakar, and as before, Motul is the main partner of the event. Here’s a closer look at 10 things you need to know about the 2021 Dakar.

Distance

For the 2021 rally, riders and drivers will cover 7,646 kilometres of which 4,767 kilometres will be timed. The course is divided across 12 stages, which the organisers say is 80-90% new for this year.

Covid19-secure

Running the Dakar in the middle of a pandemic calls for a few special measures. All competitors and teams had to quarantine for 48 hours upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. In addition, there are strict social distancing measures in the 2,400-person bivouac.

Electronic road book

A major new change for 2021 is an electronic road book. Each Elite driver in the cars, trucks and SSV categories will get a tablet with the route sent to it 10 minutes before the start for cars (and 20 minutes for bikes). 

Dakar Classic

The Dakar Classic is a new parallel competition for vehicles produced before 2000. 26 vehicles joined the start line for the inaugural edition of the Dakar Classic, a regularity race for cars and trucks from the 1980s and 1990s, including a Porsche 959, a Toyota Celica, a Mitsubishi Pajero and a Renault 20. The Dakar Classic features a shorter route with easier terrain.

Airbag vests

The Dakar is a dangerous event and over the years, competitors have, sadly, lost their lives. After two motorcycle riders died last year, the organisers have introduced airbag vests for everyone competing in the motorcycle and quad classes. There’s also been a series of measures to reduce speeds.

Slow zones

In another effort to make the rally safer, there are new “slow zones”, with speed limits capped at 90kph in particularly precarious sections. In addition, there will be audible warnings ahead of dangerous areas.

Tyre changes

Among the many new regulations for the 2021 Dakar are new rules around tyres. For cars, no tyre changes will be allowed during the marathon stage. For motorbikes, they will only be allowed a total of six rear tyres for the whole rally. 

Augmented reality

Original by Motul rider Cesare Zacchetti is taking fans along for the ride during Dakar 2021. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to cover 500 km in a single day, or traverse the dunes of Saudi Arabia, now you can. Cesare will be strapping on a camera and sharing his adventures on the tabUI app throughout the two-week event.

The field

555 competitors, including 35 Original by Motul, in 321 vehicles (129 motorbikes and quads, 124 cars, T3 and SSV, 42 trucks and 26 Dakar Classics). This includes one female-only crew and 16 competing women drivers and riders. 

Motul Racing Lab

At the Dakar bivouac, Motul’s experts will be on hand to provide daily oil analysis to all competitors, regardless of the oil brand they’re running. An invaluable advice and technical lubricant know-how to ensure competitors’ vehicles make it to the end.

Read more about Witham Motorsport, the Motul automotive lubricant range and how we support distributors, teams and drivers here.

The post 10 Things You Never Knew about The Dakar Rally 2021 appeared first on Witham Blog.


Toyota Gazoo Racing UK bolsters BTCC bid with expansion to two-car line-up

Posted on Wednesday January 13, 2021

Witham Motorsport, the official distributor of Motul automotive products in the UK, partners with Speedworks to fulfill all of their engine oil and lubricant requirements. Here’s an announcement from the team, who we’re very much looking forward to supporting throughout the 2021 season.

In addition to fighting for Drivers’ glory, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK will unleash its first genuine assault on the British Touring Car Championship Manufacturers’ and Teams’ crowns in 2021, following the acquisition of a second TOCA BTCC Licence (TBL) by Speedworks Motorsport from another team.

Having made its BTCC debut in 2011, Northwich, Cheshire-based Speedworks has run as a single-car entry in the UK’s premier motor racing series since 2014, going on a giant-killing spree with its trusty Toyota Avensis – a stellar effort that yielded nine victories, 17 rostrum finishes and back-to-back Independent Teams’ titles in 2017 and 2018 – prior to gaining official Manufacturer status.

That paved the way to a further seven race wins, 15 podiums, two pole positions and five fastest laps with the potent new Toyota Corolla in 2019 and 2020 – on each occasion, entering the final weekend of the season still in contention for overall Drivers’ honours.

Now, for the first time, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK is primed to do battle for all three trophies – Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ – in what is commonly regarded as the world’s toughest and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series, with two Corollas set to join the grid for the forthcoming campaign.

Both will sport the instantly recognisable Toyota Gazoo Racing corporate colours – in-line with the Japanese carmaker’s global motorsport activities – with the driver line-up to be announced in due course. The 2021 BTCC campaign will get underway at Brands Hatch in Kent on 3/4 April.

Christian Dick, Team Principal, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK, said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to confirm our expansion to two cars this year. It’s a step we have been targeting for a while, and something we knew needed to happen if we were to have a real shot at winning the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships in a series as ultra-competitive as the BTCC. It’s tremendously motivating for everybody involved.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a single-car entrant over the past seven years – outperforming an outscoring many teams running two or more cars, which is quite a feat – and I cannot wait to see what we can now accomplish with a second Corolla in the garage. We had arguably the fastest car in the field towards the end of last season, and we are confident of unlocking even more pace from it between now and Brands Hatch.

“Whilst we’re under no illusions about the size of the challenge ahead, we’ve proved we are more than capable of running two cars before, the Speedworks guys and girls are the best in the pit-lane and we have a dynamic new driver line-up that will be unveiled soon, representing an exciting blend of youth and experience. We are immensely grateful to Toyota UK for their ongoing support, and we fully intend to repay that through our on-track performance and results over the coming months.”

Scott Brownlee, General Manager, Press Relations & Social Media for Toyota in the UK, added:

“Speedworks has long proved to be amongst the best BTCC teams, but has been fighting with one hand tied behind its back. The step-up to a full, two-car team will allow them to take the battle to the other Manufacturer teams with both hands.

“Speedworks is a very good fit with Toyota Gazoo Racing UK, as evidenced by the team’s Britist GT programme with both the GR Supra GT4. We look forward to the 2021 season taking both Speedworks and Toyota Gazoo Racing UK to the next level.”

Read more about Witham Motorsport, the Motul automotive lubricant range and how we support distributors, teams and drivers here.



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The January Oily Rag is out now – and we’re open for business

Posted on Tuesday January 05, 2021

A letter from Nigel R Bottom, Group Managing Director

Firstly, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

In these difficult times I would like to personally give you a short update from Witham Group regarding the immediate situation around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the new lock down we find ourselves in once again.

The health, safety, protection and welfare of our Witham Team is our top priority. At the same time, we are all pulling together and working smart and hard to ensure our business processes and thus the service and supply of our products to our customers continues at the highest level.

I want to reassure you that we are still fully open for business. All three of depots are operating with a ‘call & collect’ service where once your order is placed by telephone / email, you can collect from the relevant trade counter door. Our delivery service is also still operating as normal, where we are able to safely deliver products to you directly. In addition, of course, our teams are available to help with any technical or product advice over the telephone or online by email. 

As a primary industry manufacturer, Witham Group is committed to fulfil its role within the supply chain to ensure that our vital services throughout the UK continue and we are all available as normal, on email and telephone during our business hours Monday to Thursday – 7.00am to 5.00pm and Friday – 7.00am to 4.30pm.

Our sales executives can also be contacted on their mobile devices as per normal or through their own email addresses. Please do not hesitate to contact them direct or any of our depots for product ordering, technical help or delivery enquiries. Please remember also that to see all the products and services you can visit our website – www.withamgroup.co.uk.

In these lock-down conditions, to keep you up to date further, I am delighted to enclose the latest issue of our Witham Oily Rag magazine. As we celebrate our huge milestone of 100-years as a business, we are proud to bring you all our latest news, customer stories, new products,  technical updates and a “Little Drop of Witham History” all about where we started back in 1921.

I do hope that you will enjoy reading it and please give us your feedback and keep an eye out for our future issues later in the year. If you have a personal story about Witham Group which you would like to tell us about, or would like to share any of your own companies news, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Please keep yourself, your colleagues, your family and friends safe and healthy and we look forward to working with you and supporting you in the coming year.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel R Bottom
Group Managing Director

The post The January Oily Rag is out now – and we’re open for business appeared first on Witham Blog.


300V Range – the lubricant that changed the world!

Posted on Tuesday December 22, 2020

This year, Motul are celebrating 50 years of their ground-breaking 300V range.

Whether it is on a race track or in a rally, motorsport engines require optimum lubrication at all times to achieve peak performance. More and more competitors are turning to the Motul 300V range to meet these extreme demands. But what’s so special about the 300V and its innovative technology?

A world first in lubricant technology

Motul has a proud heritage in motorsport, as well as one of the world’s most advanced laboratories to develop and test lubricants in the most extreme racing conditions. Motul has been the forerunner of lubricant technology throughout the world. In 1953 it was the first company to develop the multi-grade oil, and in 1966 became the first to bring a semi-synthetic multigrade oil to the market.

The history of 300V

In 1971 the company launched the first 10% synthetic lubricant ever designed for cars. They applied aeronautical technology for the first time in the automotive field and the new product range of 300V was named in honour of the 300 victories obtained by the brand up to that point.

What is ESTER Core technology?

Motul’s unique ESTER Core technology combines the best performing synthetic base oils including synthetic esters with bespoke dedicated chemical additives. Used exclusively in the 300V range, this technology delivers some significant benefits such as increased power with reduced internal friction, high temperature resistance and oil pressure stability and improved protection through optimised polarity for maximum adherance of the oil film. It also means reduced lubricant consumption through the use of low votatility synthetic base oils.

Modern day unrivalled power

Today the 300V Motorsport range of lubricants is specifically formulated for racing applications and reflects Motul’s technological expertise and technology partnerships with car manufacturers.

These power boosting lubricants have been developed for leading factory racing teams worldwide, but also have the same availability to the general public and the motor trade.

The result is unrivalled power increase, outstanding lubrication and optimal protection – the best conditions for ultimate victory.

Shop the full Motul 300V range on our website here.

The post 300V Range – the lubricant that changed the world! appeared first on Witham Blog.


Why do successful teams need the best oil?

Posted on Tuesday December 22, 2020

Here at Witham Motorsport, we’re passionate about quality throughout our products. As the sole distributor of Motul automotive products in the UK, their commitment to innovative, high calibre products is one of the reasons our partnership works so well.

Oil is known as the lifeblood and essential component of any machine, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. Yet the differences between a quality oil and an average one are vast. That’s why the world’s leading race teams and performance car companies use and recommend Motul oil.

Lubricants: they might not be something we think about on a daily basis, or even think are that important, but just like an athlete uses food as a fuel to perform at their best, the lubricants you use on your vehicle can have a dramatic effect on its performance.

It’s why the top race teams, from the grids of Le Mans to the paddocks of British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), spend a great deal of time thinking about the right lubricants. Because for them, it really is the difference between a race finish and a race failure.

It’s all about the right relationship

Tom Ingram is a BTCC driver competing successfully for Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla. For him, the choice of lubricant is critical to success. “When we look for a partner, we look for one that brings something more to the game than just a sponsorship budget. Like how they add value to the team,” he said. “In Motul’s case, that was a direct impact on performance. That’s
the driving force behind this partnership; not only are we working with incredibly passionate people, but the product really improves our performance. Something sponsorship budget alone can’t achieve.”

Power + reliability

And it’s not just the drivers who see the direct benefit of reliable performance powered by Motul. Richard Dean is the owner of British endurance racing team United Autosports, winner of this year’s FIA WEC world champions. For him, reliability and performance are paramount, and is the reason he chooses Motul. After his team’s impressive victory, he said: “We work with Motul products in all our cars, both LMP2 and LMP3. And
because the product is just so reliable, it’s one less thing we have to worry about. To be honest if all the parts of the car were as reliable as Motul we’d all sleep a lot better at night.”

It’s a view that longstanding Motul partner Gibson Motorsport shares. UK-based Gibson builds many of the engines for international motorsport, including those fitted to LMP2 Le Mans cars. In fact, its GK428 engine has completed more than one million miles, and Gibson is currently running 52 engines globally across four different racing series. John Manchester,
Gibson’s operations director, told us “We’re delighted with the support Motul gives us. And this goes well beyond engine lubricants. All of the machine shop cutting fluids are all supplied by MotulTech; hydraulic oils, workshop oils, workshop fluids etc. The whole range of products within the company are now Motul lubricants. Because we have very precise machine
operation to do, it’s a very critical process for Gibson.”

But these aren’t special products created specifically for Gibson. As Manchester said: “The oil we use in our LMP2 racing engines is exactly the same oil Motul uses to sell to consumers driving in normal road cars. With the LMP1 we developed new technology oils, that offer more performance. Some of that technology and information is used by Motul for a ‘normal’ oil and helps to improve the end product and the lifecycle.”

Improving performance

More power and better reliability is the holy grail for any team, whether that’s at a grassroots level or on the international stage. “Every team wants to have more power but without compromising on reliability,” says Katsuya Arai, Motul’s head of research and development and managing director. “With one original equipment manufacturer (OEM), we managed to
improve the top speed by 0.2 seconds. That gives them a major edge purely due to the lubricant.”

Katsuya leads all Motul’s R&D activity for OEMs such as Honda and Suzuki, developing specific lubricants that are designed from the ground up to work seamlessly with, and are approved for, their engines.

Katsuya explains what makes Motul’s fully synthetic lubricants so special. “ESTER Core is the name of our propriety technology for the unique mixture of the base oil with the so-called ESTER-based oil. This gives very good flow under high and low temperatures and keeps the oil film as much as possible. This helps to protect the engine.”

In essence, a quality oil such as Motul’s sticks to the metal parts of your engine, providing better protection against friction. They’ve been designed to work in extremes of temperature, in places where it can be very cold in winter and hot in summer.

Or on the racetrack, where engines and gearboxes work under maximum pressure and heat. Every Motul lubricant is certified to JASO and API international standards, as shown on the label on the back of every bottle.

“We improve our oil every year. It might be through our own tests or it might be because of pressure from an OEM. And looking at a cycle of about five years, the improvements are even more significant, and our product may increase the horsepower of an engine quite significantly,” says Katsuya. “We develop on different levels. We might change the viscosity, or we might look into the additives required. We look at our own supplier and see what additive is available or make a demand of our own.”

A passion for success

But aside from the technical side of lubricant development, there’s another aspect that marks Motul’s approach out as special. Passion. For Katsuya and his colleagues, it’s a passion for racing machines that runs deeper than just what oil they use.

“Another unique thing about the way we R&D people work at Motul, is that we like to go to the circuit to understand the machines, how they work, how they are used, how they are maintained in the field,” explains Katsuya. “We also have meetings with the OEMs at their R&D facilities to see how the
individual part is designed for better performance. It’s this passion for the products that drives us forward.”

While racing activity might be the source of Motul’s technology, it’s an innovation that is being passed on to customers on the street, too. Caterham, Radical, Mono and Subaru are just some of the sports car makers who rely on Motul’s lubricants to extract the perfect balance between performance and reliability.

The highest possible standards


Another one is Brabus. The German tuning company takes high performance Mercedes models and turns up the wick to create uniquely powerful cars with more displacement, more power and more torque. Naturally, when looking for the ideal lubricant partner, we turned to Motul, as Sven Gramm, Brabus’ director of communications and advertising explains. “A Brabus supercar is luxurious, powerful and produced to the highest possible standards. In other words, just like Motul´s lubricants: fast,
reliable, top quality and inimitable…” Brabus discovered that after extensive tests on its modern engine test benches as well as “live” test drives on tracks and in traffic, Motul was the perfect exclusive development partner and supplier for engine and transmission oils.

“The decisive factor for this decision were the results of the dismantling of our various test engines, which showed no signs of wear even after the greatest stress,” adds Sven. “Outstanding lubricants like those from Motul are an important part of our engine concept, which has been successful worldwide for more than four decades.”

The highest possible standards

For Brabus’ high-performance machines, an engine oil that can deliver its performance unrestrictedly and permanently is essential. “What counts here are the details and performance of the engine oil that protect the engine from a damage,” explains Sven. “This is extremely important because our high performance engines with up to 900hp and 1,500Nm result in extreme piston speeds and loads without having to forego
longevity. Motul has been our reliable partner here for many years.”

Shop the full range of Motul lubricant on our website here.

The post Why do successful teams need the best oil? appeared first on Witham Blog.

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