When we were looking to stress test our oil, one tester stood slightly above the rest. Futility Motorsports has been campaigning their 2008 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon in the 24 hrs of Lemons for a few years now. Generally a racing series like this is where cars are sent to die a horrible death, but somehow despite the name, the Saab has been holding up pretty well. Extremely well in fact, and because they have been finishing weekends and completing full race distances, we knew that this would be an excellent test for the engine oil.
This particular car was a daily driver in New England for 254k miles. Owned by Saab guys its whole life, it was well maintained (many parts we’re told were from eEuroparts.com, thanks for that!) so it was able to go the distance. When the owner decided to move on to something newer, he had an option. Dump it off cheap, or hand it down to his son for free under the single condition that it would be made into a race car.
The turbocharged 2.3l B235R engine and 5 speed manual transmission were already a great recipe to be competitive on a race track covered in horrible jalopies, so the roll cage and other required safety equipment went in and the rest is history.
For the ROWE Stress Test, the Saab was entered into race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The green flag would fall, opening up a schedule of over 14hrs of green flag racing over the next few days, and when it was all over the 9-5 did great. Read the recap [here]. In the end, the Saab 4cyl would rack up around 700 miles of full throttle on-track distance, which is a lot of stress for an engine with 257k miles on it! Here’s what the oil report said.
One cool thing to note, this team has done oil tests before. That means we have insight into how the engine has been doing race after race. The previous oil used was Shell Rotella T6, what many die-hards swear by and refuse to use anything else (ask us how we know). It’s great to see that the ROWE 5w40 HC-D is holding up so well in such a well worn in and abused engine. Below is the second oil test done by the team, this from the midsummer race in Thompson, CT. The slightly higher than normal lead indicated to the team that maybe 257k original miles was enough, so since this oil test was done they’ve picked up a parts car with good compression and will give it a full workover before installation. They’ll continue on using the ROWE in the new engine.
Team leader Chris Egan had this to say when sending this test along:
“Going to try and get the sample from the New Hampshire Race sent out in the next week or two so you’ll have a 3rd report. I’ll keep sending them as long as you want them since I think we’re sold on this oil and don’t plan on switching to anything else. ”
Stay tuned for more Saab racing fun with Futility Motorsports and ROWE Motor Oil!