PENRITE: DRIVING FORWARD INNOVATION ON ALL LEVELS
From state and national partnerships to those on the international stage, Australian owned and operated Penrite Oil is a key player in the world of motorsport
A range of partnerships across an array of disciplines not only delivers marketing benefits to the leading Australian company, but also a raft of technical advantages for not only Penrite Oil and its R and D department, but also for its customers both in motorsport and the consumer/retail space.
“Penrite offers various levels of sponsorship across a range of platforms from international, national and state-based to local community and grassroots focused partnerships,” Penrite Oil Director of Motorsport and Corporate Partnerships Manager, Jarrod Harding, explains.
“Our aim is to support as many series, teams, individuals, communities and charitable causes as we can. Unfortunately, we cannot support them all, so it is a matter of sharing things around to do the most good when and where we can.
“Of these programs, our most successful is the Penrite Brand Ambassador program. Each year Penrite Oil sponsors more than 160 Brand Ambassadors in all forms of motorsport across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.”
Many would look at partnerships in motorsports and assume the key benefit to the company providing the support is mainly marketing-related. However for Penrite, the benefits of these relationships run much deeper than that.
“At last count we have over 500 products and it makes sense for us to be active across a lot of different spaces which relate to these differing product ranges,” Jarrod said.
“At the top end of competition – such as with our Penrite Racing Supercar program and our Superbike team – we can focus on really testing our products at an elite level under pretty harsh racing conditions.
“At the more local level, we can work closely with our ambassadors to gather that finer detail out of how our products perform under a wider range of real world conditions.
“Our racing program certainly allows us to do a huge amount of work testing all of our products, and the best thing about ambassadors is they give you real feedback – the beauty too about being an Australian family-owned company is that we can grab the boss and the next day be discussing improvements or new products based off that feedback.
“At the end of the day, the real benefit to our customers is that if we are constantly testing and refining our products in this way, they can have confidence our products will well and truly exceed their needs.”
One of the most well-known partnerships for Penrite Oil is the one it holds with David Reynolds, who the company has followed to a new team and new marque in the Supercars championship for 2021 and beyond.
“Our partnership with Dave has been in place since he joined the Erebus Motorsport team back in 2016,” Jarrod explains.
“Being a family owned and operated business, Penrite is obviously not your typical oil company and at our core, our business values are more on the conservative side and are certainly driven with a high importance and focus placed on family values.
“When Dave initially joined the Erebus team, we were a bit apprehensive as we knew he was a good driver and a fan favourite but there had been a bit of negative press due to Dave’s off the cuff humour.
“However, five minutes after meeting Dave you realise, he is just a regular down to earth bloke. What you see is what you get which really resonates with our customers and staff. Over the years our partnership has greatly evolved to the point where our trade and retail customers are now heavily involved in the direction of our motorsport journey.
“Dave has slotted into our company dynamic and has become a face for the brand who is very personable with staff and customers alike.
“The relationship is so strong that with Dave making the move to Kelly Grove Racing for 2021 and beyond, we have also made that move – swapping across to a new team and from the Holden to a Ford Mustang. It is certainly a big change, but it is one which will offer us real benefits behind the scenes.”
In elaborating on these expected benefits, it is clear Jarrod and the entirety of Penrite Oil has some big plans in place for the future.
“The Kellys’ have a tremendous technical capability – they manufacture a number of components not only for Supercars but also for most other categories raced within Australia and New Zealand,” Jarrod said.
“Their in-house team builds race engines; designs and fabricates specialist parts and body panels; and they have a huge R and D program.
“So really, what better way is there to continue to constantly test and better our products than with Kelly Grove Racing? It is the best of both worlds and as an added bonus, their base is only 20 minutes down the road from our own headquarters.”
One product range sure to play an integral part in this new relationship with Kelly Grove Racing is Penrite’s 10 Tenths Lubricants offering, which has a unique claim to fame in being a product actually used in Supercars in the same formulation which can be bought off the shelf.
“It has been a little secret in racing for decades that generally what they say is going into the race cars isn’t actually what the label says or what you at home could buy off the shelf at your local retail outlet,” Jarrod said.
“Oil companies have traditionally given race teams ‘special blends,’ usually to increase horsepower at the cost of longevity and protection to engine internals.
“However, we haven’t gone down this route. Instead, since joining Supercars in 2015, it has always been our mission to promote and use off the shelf Penrite products.
“It has helped that we already had a strong racing range that encompasses not only engine oil but also specialised brake fluids and coolants – the 10 Tenths brand.
“The 10 Tenths range has actually been around for more than 30 years. The Dymond family behind Penrite have always been racers at heart, owning, building and competing in all sorts of car and bike racing, and the 10 Tenths range was born out of the passion John Dymonds (JD for short) held for historic motorsport.
“JD was always interested in making his products the best on the market. He wanted to protect the engine but understood the need to gain the competitive edge. Today, we continue that work, we just have better technology on hand to help us understand what is going on at the microscopic level.
“By using a combination of laboratory testing, trackside data and product ambassadors, we have been able to tailor the products to meet the changing demands of the user and suit a variety of different conditions. As the years have passed and the technology has improved, we have been able to further rely on diagnostic tools and chemical analysis to ensure we are always living up to JD’s mission statement to make the best products for local conditions.
“I am proud to report that since joining Supercars six years ago, we have never had a mechanical product issue despite punishing the cars in searing temperatures. We have also enjoyed great performance in events such as the 12 Hour, where brakes are at over 300 degrees lap after lap.
“We have claimed podiums and won races including the Bathurst 1000 where performance and longevity are important – all using the same 10 Tenths products which can be bought off the shelf at your local retail outlet.
“Whether in blistering heat or rainy and windy conditions, our products have never let us down. To me, this fact just reinforces how important it is to make products for and in Australian conditions.
“I guess the real testament to the success of the range is just how many people are now using it in pretty much every discipline of motorsport. That tells me we must be doing something right!”
While Penrite Oil is certainly kicking goals with its 10 Tenths range in all kinds of racing disciplines, the company is far from resting on its laurels.
With the move to Kelly Grove Racing, its technical team is already hard at work with the team’s engineers to take things to the next level.
“Previously we had a heap of data on how the Holden Supercars behaved under various conditions, so moving to Kelly Grove Racing and the new Ford Mustang means we need to ensure the car behaves in a similar fashion,” Jarrod said.
“It is early days, but so far we have been able to run the car with no problems using our Racing 5w30 product, and additionally we are also utilising our race coolant, brake fluid, trans axle fluid and a raft of other products.
“While we have had success so far, we will always be keeping an eye on how things progress and ensuring we are working with the team and continuing to look for the winning advantage.
“For instance, we are already working with the team on a range of new grease options and other speciality products. So that is a work in progress and one we look forward to seeing in action soon.”
For more on the Penrite Oil Company, visit www.penriteoil.com.au