Based in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill North, the highly-respected Fitzgerald Racing Services (FRS) recently joined the rapidly growing group of premier workshops switching to Liqui-Moly. They now exclusively use Liqui-Moly’s premium-grade lubricants and additives in their customer’s cars, as well as in their own road-going machinery and track racers. This includes the Audi R8 Ultra they currently campaign in the Australian GT Championship and at the Bathurst 12-Hour. FreeStyle Rides dropped into FRS to talk to Peter Fitzgerald about crashes, sponsors, testing, tuning and their insight on becoming a Liqui-Moly exclusive workshop.
Why did you swap to Liqui-Moly?
“Bruce (MotorActive’s Managing Director) used to sponsor GT Nations Cup through Meguiar’s. He stepped in and personally helped me out to get my car fixed and back on the track after a massive crash at the Phillip Island round in 1999. The car was badly damaged, the whole side was torn out. Finances were tight and the crash threatened to knock me out of the championship. I’ve never forgotten that and knowing Bruce is behind Liqui-Moly, I didn’t hesitate when approached about changing over.”
Personal relationships are important to you then?
“Absolutely. I’ve been doing this for 38 years, never had rich parents to help me along. For me, the hardest part has always been finding funds to go racing. I pride myself on keeping sponsors long term by looking after them; I was with Falken tyres for 10 years and always raced on them. The only reason it stopped [with Falken] was Carrera Cup introduced a control tyre that wasn’t Falken. While Bruce’s support got Liqui-Moly’s foot in the door, FRS prides itself on only using the highest quality products. I recognised Liqui-Moly as being a premium-grade, German-made product, which enabled me to make the decision to swap. We wouldn’t even consider it if there was any doubt.”
What prompted the change?
“The other brand we were using was very effective, however in the end business is very tough and having a good product is not enough these days. We never saw a representative, they never followed up and they lacked the prompt technical support, range and supply that FRS relies on to service our customers in the manner necessary to keep them loyal. Liqui-Moly makes a concerted effort to give us that personal service, it’s the icing on the cake.”
What’s been your customers’ reactions?
“Many of our customers are not technophobes, they don’t really know too much about the technical benefits of one oil from another. They rely on our expertise and recommendations; such as Liqui-Moly.”
How did you verify the effectiveness of Liqui-Moly?
“We were well aware of how highly-regarded Liqui-Moly is in Germany, as we deal with a lot of German companies through our Evolve Technik business – which uses many TUV-certified performance products. [Germany’s TUV has one of the world’s most stringent certification standards for aftermarket equipment.] “But it goes further than that; few workshops have the time or resources to conduct proper back-to-back testing to compare oils. However when FRS was preparing championship-winning Carrera Cup cars, we did. Being a one-make series, you had to spend the time and money to find every last, little advantage. We did a lot of work on the dyno proving our previous oil was a very high-quality product. Since changing, we’re seeing equal if not better results with Liqui-Moly. We’re pretty happy about that.”
What does the future hold for FRS?
“People have no idea of the performance they’re missing out on. It’s amazing what can be achieved through ECU tuning, let alone adding performance upgrades such as a premium exhaust, intake, intercooler, etc. “My son, Christian, runs the Evolve Technic side of the business, which provides the necessary componentry and software, while Fitzgerald Racing Services concentrates on the workshop, servicing, maintenance and the racing side of things – with Liqui-Moly being a long-term part of that.”
story CRAIG PARKER photos JOHN CHURCHILL & LUKE OXLEY