Ahead of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans' start later on this morning, Aston Martin and its Aston Martin Racing division unveiled the new Gulf racing livery on car #97 Vantage GTE earlier this week. Created by Jonathan Wesley of Kettering, U.K., the design won during a competition that saw hundreds of entries. Based on Wesley's central theme of "daylight to dusk," the vibrant stripes of color represent the Gulf corporate emblem speeding by during the race. The new livery also marks Gulf Oil International's renewal in its support of Aston Martin Racing by agreeing to a new three-year sponsorship deal. The substantial backing allows Aston Martin to enter a total of five Vantage GTEs, three in the LMGTE Pro class and two in the LMGTE Am class, at this year's 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans. And already, the teams are seeing positive results with #99 and #97 taking 1 and 2 pole positions among the LMGTE Pro, #95 with lead pole position in LMGTE Am.
ASTON MARTIN RACING UNVEILS WINNING LE MANS GULF LIVERY
Le Mans, 18 June 2013 - Aston Martin Racing and Gulf have unveiled the winner of their livery design competition.
The design, inspired by the change in atmosphere as day gives way to night during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was created by Jonathan Wesley from Kettering in the UK and will adorn the #97 Vantage GTE throughout race week.
Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Peter Dumbreck (GB), drivers of the #97 Vantage GTE, selected Jonathan's design from the hundreds of entries received. He will now attend the race weekend as a VIP guest of Gulf to see his winning design compete in the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"I have been excited ever since I got the news that my design had been chosen," comments Jonathan. "I loved the chance of being able to design a Gulf Aston Martin, but it's already such a classic livery that I was wondering what I could do.
"I was just sketching a few thoughts out and I liked the idea of the car being a different colour on both sides. I thought about the Gulf corporate colours – dark blue, light blue, orange and white – and I came up with the idea of 'daylight to dusk', which to me is the most exciting part of the race.
"So it moves from the white with the broad orange stripe dividing things to the dark blue of the night. The orange and blue lines represent the streaks that you often see in photos of the cars at night and the whole design sort of summed up the essence of Le Mans to me."
Gulf, which has partnered Aston Martin Racing for five years and has signed a further three-year deal, ran the livery competition to allow fans to participate in the team's most ambitious Le Mans campaign, marking the centenary year of Aston Martin.
Sam Cork, Global Brand Manager at Gulf explained: "Gulf has been responsible for some extremely iconic motorsport liveries and we wanted to give fans the opportunity to play their part. To design the livery for a Gulf Aston Martin, racing at Le Mans in the brand's centenary year, is really something quite special.
"This livery will enter Gulf and Aston Martin Racing's history books and Jonathan should be extremely proud to be the winner, as we had hundreds of entries from all over the world. The design is excellent. It is everything we hoped for. We can't wait to see it take to the track for the most exciting endurance race of the year."
The #97 car is one of five Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTEs competing in the 24-hour race, but the only one to carry the competition-winning design. The car will first be seen on the Circuit de la Sarthe at the first free practice session on Wednesday 19 June at 16:00 hrs.