Here’s some racing news that’s just too cool to pass up (especially when Automoblog head honcho Chris is a big Aston Martin fan): Aston Martin, sometimes competitor at the famed Le Mans 24 hour race will be competing this year, and they will be all decked out in a full blown Gulf Oil livery.
Why is this so cool? Read on.
First off, I noticed this when reading the racecar Engineering site. Really, if you\’re a gearhead, you should get a subscription to their magazine and check the site often. It is one of the best sources for real hardcore engineering information out there. It reads more like a peer-reviewed industry journal than a car magazine and the information is really valuable if you fool around with cars a lot. Hell, I\’ve even used stuff I read there to set up racecars, so that should show you how trustworthy it is.
OK, so Aston is having another crack at the big one, The Le Mans 24 Hours. The grand daddy of all endurance races, and one of The Big Four racing crowns builders and drivers alike desire (the others being wins at the Indy 500, The Grand Prix world Title and The Daytona 500). Aston has, on occasion, run at Le Mans, but never with that much success. Their biggest effort came with a big powerful prototype called the Nimrod (no, really, they named it that on purpose). It was quick, but unreliable, and they ended up getting stomped by Jaguar and Porsche.
For 2009 the competition is no less fierce, going up against the likes of Audi and Peugeot at the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours with their new Lola based LMP1.
The new car is based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola and is powered by the same production-based V12 engine that Aston ran against the factory Corvettes in 08. Indeed this is the same plant that helped Aston Martin win its second successive Le Mans GT1 title with the DBR9. So that bodes well, reliability-wise. It also powered the Charouz car to a new La Sarthe lap record for a petrol car.
The real bug-a-boo is that in LMP1, Aston has to fight against diesel-powered cars. The rules used to give oil burners a bit of an advantage as far as tank size goes. They were allowed to run larger tanks, which means fewer pit stops, which means, over the course of 24 long, grueling hours, a definite advantage. Aston Martin are hoping that the revamped regulations, aimed to even the gap between petrol and diesel engined cars, will allow them to challenge for the overall win.
And here\’s the cherry on top: Aston Martin have retained Gulf as their key sponsors.
Ah, Gulf Oil sponsored cars running at Le Mans, how cool is that?
What? You don\’t know what I\’m talking about?
You see who\’s driving that big, bad 917? See how it\’s painted? That\’s why this is cool news.