Circuit de la Sarthe
GULF AMR MIDDLE EAST READY FOR LE MANS
After a challenging start to its Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) season due to technical issues, Gulf AMR Middle East now heads to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans looking for a fresh start, a smooth run up to the race and, most importantly, a finish in the world’s most famous sports car race.
‘Gulf AMR Middle East’ is the official entry of the UAE-based Gulf Racing team, and the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 represents the iconic racing colours of Gulf Oil International in the GTE-Am category of the 2011 ILMC. The team is owned by Frédéric Fatien, Roald Goethe, Jean-Pierre Valentini and Mike Wainwright and is an evolution of the Gulf Team First organisation which ran in the 2010 FIA GT2 European Cup and, earlier this year, entered the Dunlop 24H Dubai race.
Entered as an official partner team for Gulf Oil International and Aston Martin Racing, the Gulf AMR Middle East entry will be driven by Frenchman Fabien Giroix, Mike Wainwright of Britain and German Roald Goethe. The two gentlemen drivers gained valuable experience in international competition during 2010, most notably in the FIA GT2 European Cup, GT3, the Spa 24 Hours, selected rounds of the French GT Championship and the final two rounds of the inaugural ILMC series.
Mike Wainwright speaks on behalf of all Gulf Racing’s owners when he says of the team’s entry to the ILMC: “With the introduction in 2011 of the GT Pro-Am format, we all felt that the ILMC offered us a unique opportunity to indulge our passion for GT racing and to be competitive at the highest level. Furthermore, the potential exposure we can gain from competing in the ILMC and, of course, at Le Mans will benefit the team commercially for the future.
“Obviously Le Mans is always the target and the race every GT entrant wants to be in but, on the other hand, we are amateur drivers who wish to improve and the best way to do that is to drive and the longer the race the better! Time permitting, our aim is to maintain our entry and take part in this race annually.”
The team will be under the guiding hands of legendary motorsport team owner and manager, David Price. With his small, tight-knit team of technicians, Price has – in the two opening rounds of the ILMC – had to battle against technical issues not of the team’s making which prevented them from doing more than a handful of laps at Sebring and not quite 70% of the Spa 1000 Km.
He comments: “It hasn’t been the easiest of preparations for Le Mans but we had a good test day there at the end of April and all the drivers had plenty of time to get used to the track. Having said that, you can never underestimate the task ahead at Le Mans. We go into the race as well prepared as we can be you also very aware that anything can happen at any time. As long as we can avoid any major incidents and remain patient, I’m confident we could achieve a good solid result for the team.”
The 79th running of the twice-round-the-clock endurance classic takes place on 11/12th June starting and finishing at 1500 hours. Ten hours of practice take place over two days before the race, beginning on Wednesday afternoon at 1600 hours.
-source: gulf amr middle east