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Gulf / AMR LMP1 - World Debut

 

The Gulf sponsored Aston Martin LMP1 car wows the crowd on its world debut

 
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The new Gulf-sponsored Aston Martin LMP1 race cars made an impressive world debut at the official Le Mans Series (LMS) test days at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

The sleek blue and orange prototypes are quite simply stunning and unsurprisingly attracted a huge amount of attention from media and public alike. This was magnified as for the first time this year the LMS organisers opened up the official tests for public viewing. Despite the tough economic times, the test session was a sell-out, which demonstrates the high level of interest in sports car racing. This bodes well for Gulf's 2009 racing programme, which covers both the LMS and Le Mans 24 Hours.

Gulf Oil International's Vice President, Alain Dujean was brimming with enthusiasm about the two-day event. "The air of excitement and anticipation around seeing the LMP1 car in the flesh and actually running has been intense since the announcement in January and I must say that it has been well worth the wait! The car is absolutely beautiful. It shows off the famous Gulf racing colours superbly and it is evidently quick even at this early stage".  Last year's programme with the GT1 car was excellent for Gulf and gave the brand a global uplift in presence. However it already feels like we have stepped up another level and we are very excited at the prospects for the season, both for the team and for what they offer to Gulf's businesses around the world."
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Aston Martin Racing worked day and night in recent weeks to get both 007 and 009 cars ready for the test. Both cars ran well, despite this being the first time that either machine had turned a wheel on the track.

007, piloted by the now well-established driving team of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke, was immediately on the pace of the other cars at the test, with Enge setting a then-fastest overall time for Day One.  Unfortunately an accident put an end to the car's track time but fortunately Enge walked away uninjured.

009, crewed by Harold Primat, Miguel Ramos and long standing Aston Martin Racing team member Darren Turner, gradually worked its way up the time sheets. All three drivers used the two days to get valuable learning time in an LMP1 car, as well as providing the team with invaluable data for the cars' ongoing development.
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Last year's victorious Le Mans 24 Hours GT1 champion - Darren Turner, happily admitted that driving an LMP1 car involved a steep learning curve, but it was clearly one he was relishing. "The main focus right now is to put miles on the new car and allow me and my team mates to get up to speed. For me it is a big step from the DBR9 to LMP1 but I'm happy that after two days of testing I am starting to feel comfortable. I'm really looking forward to the first race in Barcelona and the rest of the year".

Aston Martin Racing was also clearly satisfied with the test as Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell confirmed, "It's a credit to the team that both of our cars have run so reliably after such an intense and tiring build period. For a first test with two brand new cars we have run very successfully."

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Aston Martin Racing now begins an intensive period of testing and development prior to the cars' competitive debut at the first LMS race in Barcelona on 3-5th April and Gulf looks on with bated breath to see how the new car fairs.

For more information on this years' motor sport programme please contact Sam Cork: sc@gulfoilltd.com

 

 

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