The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hour race was the 50th anniversary of Gulf competing in the race for the first time.
The impetus of Gulf’s 50 Years of Blue and Orange has been steadily building and Thursday of race week saw more than 50 members of the media attending a Gulf press event at the circuit.
Participants came from as far afield as Japan and the USA and they had the chance to meet and chat with the drivers and team management of both Gulf Racing and Tockwith Motorsport, surrounded by the images of the 50 Years of Gulf at Le Mans Photo Exhibition, which depicted every type of car to have raced in Gulf Colours – or with Gulf branding – since 1967.
The following day Gulf’s sixty guests arrived – a mixture of business guests and winners of the B2C competition to find the biggest Gulf fans around the world. Winners came from as far away as Brazil to be there and the atmosphere was party-like throughout, with guests mixing the authentic Le Mans camping experience with top line VIP hospitality at the Automobile Club de L’Ouest’s new Panoramic facility, a skybox situated opposite the pit garages.
The Gulf guests had some truly special experiences. They enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours of the race, got to watch from some of the farthest flung parts of the 14km circuit and, of course, were treated to the chance to get right into the thick of the things by getting onto the grid before the start of the race with the cars & drivers and by visiting the pit garages during the race itself.
On track, the Blue and Orange Gulf cars acquitted themselves well. Both the GTE Am Gulf Racing Porsche and LMP2 Tockwith Motorsport Ligier finished in the top ten of their categories. The latter, driven by the youngest competitor in the race, 17 year old Phil Hanson, together with Nigel Moore and India’s popular ex-F1 star, Karun Chandhok (below), finished a fine 11th overall.
Next year Gulf will celebrate the 50th anniversary of winning Le Mans. This is a highly significant event and Gulf will be marking the occasion in the biggest possible way at Le Mans. Make sure you are part of it.
50 years of blue & orange at Le Mans
Le Mans, France