It was hard to miss the iconic blue and orange Gulf Oil livery worn by all three Aston Martin ‘00’ cars at Le Mans last year, especially with all the media attention surrounding the team.
With just a fraction of the budget of the heavy hitting teams such as Peugeot and Audi, Aston Martin’s ‘007’ car was heroic in its fourth place finish. Better still, it was the fastest petrol powered racer at the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours.
For this year’s race, Aston Martin will enter two works LMP1 cars, wearing the same Gulf Oil colours.
In preparation for this year’s 78th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours at the famous Cirque de la Sarthe, Aston Martin will run one LMP1 car in three races prior to the big day.
Races will include the first two rounds of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) – the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Long Beach Grand Prix; and the opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard in France.
Last year’s drivers, Chris Buncombe (GB), Stefan Mucke (DE), Harold Primat (CH), and Darren Turner (GB) return to the driver’s seat, but will be joined by the very experienced Mexican born sports car driver, Adrian Fernandez. In 2009, Fernandez won the LMP2 class outright in the American Le Mans Series, so his inclusion in the team should be a significant boost for Aston Martin.
The Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) cars are incredibly quick, but interestingly, are powered by a race tuned version of the same Aston Martin V12 engine you find in the DBS, V12 Vantage, DB9 and the soon to be released four-door Aston Martin Rapide.
Car Advice will be attending the Rapide launch in Spain and will bring you a full road test and review of the car, later this month.