Drifting, Burnouts and a Side of Trophy Trucks with Eneos Oil
Eneos Oil put on a different kind of SEMA after party, and it involved burnouts.
I have mentioned it before, but the SEMA show is a very nutty, yet very fun place to visit. It seems that this year was the year of the burnout. Burnouts have never gone out of style, but people were bringing them back into style again, anyway. Everyone was doing them!
That brings us handily to Eneos Motor Oil, Japans biggest oil producer. The company is looking outward, and specifically, to the United States, introducing their products to the enthusiast market over here. The brand has been building up their motorsports presence in this country for the last few years, so even if the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, the cars, brands, and drivers that they back, will.
The brand sponsors Kyle Larson, of NASCAR fame. In the middle is Steve Arpin, Global Rallycross Pro, and 3rd place finisher in the 2017 GRC season (congrats!). That guy on the right is none other that Daijiro Yosihara. Dai is a renowned Formula Drift ace, and a very accomplished time attack racer to boot. These guys are all supported by Eneos in their racing efforts, and the brand is committed to motorsport at many different levels.
I, personally, have known about the Eneos brand for years as a niche JDM track day oil manufacturer, simply because that was the arena in which I heard about the brand being discussed, motorsports.
Eneos reached out to me offering an invitation to a SEMA after party. Now, after parties are quite common at SEMA, however, this one was different. There was promise of some burnout action, some drift action, and the shot behind the wheel of a trophy truck. They had me sold at burnouts. So, myself and handful of other journalists hopped aboard a bus leaving SEMA and headed towards the desert.
Welcome to VORE.
About 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas is the Vegas Off Road Experience, aka the VORE Adrenaline Compound. This facility handles events that will teach you how to drift, off-road, race or even shoot firearms. Though, they wouldn’t let me try to combine all of them into one. This is was probably for the best. After a short debriefing it was on to the skidpad.
There were two Mustang GTs waiting for us. The white car was a mostly stock GT, and the black car was a Roush Stage 3 supercharged Mustang, making 670 horsepower. I saw the black car first, and thus, it was the one I drove. I only learned after the fact that it was packing 250 more horsepower than its stablemate. One of VOREs instructors rode shotgun in each car to make sure we didn’t endanger ourselves or those around us.
After enough sliding antics we were escorted inside, and introduced to the Eneos team, and the reason we were able to come out and play at VORE. For SEMA 2017, Eneos has come bearing new product. Specifically, we were introduced to their new Eneos Racing Series oil.
What is Eneos Racing Series oil?
Eneos is releasing two different oils under the Racing Series moniker, one geared towards street and track use, and the other being a dedicated racing oil. Some people balked at this, but as a track day enthusiast, I was taking notes.
The Racing Street oil is geared towards dual purpose cars that see track time and the daily drive. They have an API SN label, indicating that the oil has been formulated with the OEMs in mind. In short, it means the oil is emissions friendly and suitable for cars that experience cold weather, cold starts and other scenarios where engine wear can occur for street cars.
The Racing Pro oil is exactly what it sounds like: meant for pro teams, endurance race cars and the like. This oil will not break down, cavitate or foam out under hard use, like a street car oil would under the duress of racing. This formulation does not wear the API SN label, and is considered for race use only.
Eneos was serious about their product. In attendance was none other than Mr. Motoshi Sunami, President and CEO of Eneos USA, and Mr. Hiromi Takahashi, Deputy General Manager, Eneos USA. Sunami san and Takahashi san are enthusiasts who were very stoked to be here talking to us. They were also stoked to introduce one of Eneos’ engineers to answer technical questions about the product. Yours truly grilled them for about 10 minutes about additive packages, fuel dilution from modern direct-fuel injected engines, and durability and longevity, specifically on that Racing Street oil. Other than a slight language barrier, I received honest, straight forward answers with no marketing gibberish. It was very much appreciated from some of the fluff of the SEMA main show.
After the Q&A, it was time for the trophy trucks
I’m not much of a truck guy, but the trophy trucks are the real deal. Rear-engine V6 trucks with about 300 horsepower in the dirt is no joke. I can slide a car around all day, but going quick in the dirt is insane. So is getting air. I have jumped a car, but, again, in a caged trophy truck in the dirt, it’s a next level experience.
Unfortunately, there is no video of the experience, though, it’s not for my lack of trying. Unsurprisingly, mud and dirt is not conducive to having a GoPro stay attached to the truck. It flew off, and fell into the passenger seat around the first corner. I guess I will have to come back and re-shoot.
Thank you to Eneos for putting on the event and being brave enough to let me loose with minimal instruction or supervision. Thank you to the Vegas Off Road Experience for having us and tolerating my bad driving. Oh, and thanks to Kyle Larson and Steve Arpin for not running me down when I held you two up on track. I can’t wait to go back.