Re-Creation ...in a new Suit
Creation Autosportif's blue and yellow livery has been consigned to the history books. Coinciding with the introduction of the constructor's new Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) chassis, the `works' car's visual appearance is unlike anything seen before on cars that take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans.
New Zealand artist, Mark Olsen, was given the task of re-defining Creation's on-track visual appearance. Known for his trademark portrait style and not shy of using brilliant colours in his work, Olsen's approach to the new Creation was to place the car's `livery' within the context of the countries visited by the Le Mans Series and the classic 24 hour Enduro.
Set against a midnight blue pearlescent `sky' filled with stars, Olsen has painted seven child-like portraits with features representing each individual country visited by these endurance machines. Titled "The Children of Le Mans", the mix of images is colourful, fun and unusual--particularly for a racing car.
Brazil, for example, is represented by a child dressed in a verdant green tunic, wearing a Toucan Hat (Brazil's national bird) with a pendant in the shape of a football. Italy's child is dressed in electric blue with a golden hat in the shape of the Coliseum.
"I wanted something that links the car with its environment. Everyone knows that these cars are fast. They look fast. They sound fast. I wanted people to have a lasting image of the car long after the race is over," says Olsen, "not one that simply reinforces what the car can do by itself."
"Mike (Jankowski) and I talked about the team's values and philosophy and, from my perspective, it came down to having kids on the car. Vitality, energy, imagination, total acceptance of others and fun. "
Creation Autosportif's Michael Jankowski said "BMW's "Art Cars" of yesteryear are a difficult act to follow. Mark has produced a work that links the car directly with the Le Mans Series of races and its peoples while also maintaining a bit of Creation in the scene. To me, it is magical, colourful and fun--a fantasy world where children of all nations meet in their sleep. Hopefully, everyone will smile when they see it."
In its new `clothes', the new specification car will be participating in the final four rounds of the Le Mans Series in England, Belgium, Germany and Brazil. Its first race, however, will be at the 75th running of the classic endurance event: the 24 Hours of Le Mans.