The now-famous powder-blue and orange Gulf Oil racing livery was on a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner for the first time in 1968 when Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi piloted the #9 Ford GT40 to overall victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe. It has subsequently been worn by a variety of other racers at Le Mans, most notably the Porsche 917, and even on the R8 campaigned by Audi Sport UK in 2001. This year, on the 40th anniversary of that first victory, the Gulf colors will again be worn by contenders at Le Mans. The #007 and #009 Aston Martin Racing DBR9s will trade in their green livery for the iconic blue-and-orange as Aston looks to defend its GT1 crown against Corvette Racing. For a race as steeped in tradition as Le Mans, this change by Aston Martin Racing seems only fitting and further adds to the mystique.
[Source: Aston Martin]
Aston Martin to defend GT1 title with Gulf
Aston Martin Racing will return to Le Mans in 2008 to defend its GT1 title in the distinctive blue and orange livery of Gulf Oil.
Two Aston Martin DBR9s will look to emulate Gulf's first victory at the 24 hour race 40 years on.
Alain Dujean, Gulf Oil vice president international, said: "This is arguably the most important year ever for Gulf in motorsport. The famous Gulf racing colours first tasted victory at Le Mans in 1968, so 2008 already had great significance for us, but for Gulf to have joined up with Aston Martin Racing for this year is fantastic – the coming together of two great automotive names, for what I hope will be a long and fruitful partnership."
David Richards, chairman of Aston Martin, said: "Endurance racing is engrained in the heritage of both Gulf and Aston Martin and we have also both been intrinsically linked through Le Mans for many decades. It was perhaps destined that, in the year we defend our GT1 title and Gulf celebrates the 40th anniversary of its win, we would finally race together at La Sarthe."
The two Aston Martin DBR9s for 2008 will be entered as numbers 007 and 009.