The British Racing Drivers Club 2008 annual awards took place on Monday 08 December at the Cafe Royal, London. Gulf Retail CEO, Jonathan Turner, was on hand to present The Woolf Barnato Trophy, a coveted and prestigious award, to the highest placed finishing British and/or Commonwealth driver, in a British car, in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

David Brabham and Darren Turner received the award having secured the GT1 title in a Gulf-branded Aston Martin DBR9. The event was a 'who's-who' in British motorsport, with Formula 1 stars Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard, and all-time great Sir Stirling Moss, there to collect personal achievement awards. Prime Minister Gordon Brown was amongst the guests.

"With Gulf's strong heritage at Le Mans, and now success in the 2008 race, it seemed appropriate to sponsor this historic award," explained Jonathan Turner. The Aston Martin Racing drivers, David Brabham, who also raced in Gulf colours in 1997 (F1), and Darren Turner, received the award from Jonathan, later reflecting on their momentous achievements:

"I think in years to come, this race will be considered a classic," enthused David Brabham. "The Corvettes were the outright favourites and not many people gave us a chance, but the car ran perfectly, our teamwork was first-class, and then it rained and we became dominant. I congratulate Lewis Hamilton on all he has achieved, but you're not a man until you're driving flat-out at Le Mans in torrential rain at 3 o'clock in the morning, knowing that there's still 12 hours to go."

Darren Turner described the victory as a personal triumph: "It has been an honour to drive for Aston Martin Racing and this year was even more memorable. Growing up and watching Le Mans, I never thought I would have the opportunity to race with them. Just being there in an Aston Martin, in the iconic Gulf colours, was special; making the top step of the podium was unbelievable."

When presenting the award, Jonathan Turner was asked by host Tiff Needell whether Gulf would be defending its Le Mans GT1 crown in 2009:

"There are several factors to consider in the current climate, however Gulf belongs at Le Mans and the link with Aston Martin has been a huge success for both companies. Next year is the 40th anniversary of Gulf's second win at Le Mans in a GT40 and the 50th anniversary of Aston Martin's Sportscar victory so i'd have to say.. watch this space."

-credit: gulf