Wearing the distinctive Martini Racing livery of dark blue, light blue and red stripes – seen on the upcoming Porsche 918 supercar – will be the 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, when the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season begins on May 12 in Barcelona, at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Loeb will also contest round two of the one-make series at the Monaco street circuit in Monte Carlo on May 26, leaving an as-yet-unnamed driver to take the wheel for the third round at Monza in Italy.
The French rally driver isn’t the first WRC champion to compete in the racing series, with Bjorn Waldegard, Walter Rohrl, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist and Massimo Biasion all coming before him.
The Martini and Rossi distillery’s racing sponsorship program first began in 1968, with its partnered racecars often painted in white or silver to highlight the team’s classic livery.
Despite retiring from WRC competition at the end of the 2012 season – and winning nine manufacturer’s titles for Citroen – Loeb has competed in the X Games in a 407kW/800Nm Citroen DS3 XL, claimed his first race win behind the wheel of McLaren MP4-12C GT3 car, taken top spot at two rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship in a season that will see him only enter four events, and will drive for Peugeot at this year’s Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado in a 652kW/875kg Peugeot 208 T16.