Fresh from winning the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) the Gulf Audi R8 of Johansson Racing this weekend takes on America's finest sportscars in Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca Raceway, California. The event provides...
Fresh from winning the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) the Gulf Audi R8 of Johansson Racing this weekend takes on America's finest sportscars in Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca Raceway, California. The event provides the team with the perfect opportunity to see just how far they have progressed since their last encounter with the stars of the American Le Mans Series, back in mid-May at Circuito del Jarama, Spain.
Racing in its traditional colours of powder blue and orange, the Gulf Audi convincingly won its last race at Most, Czech Republic, and travels to the United States with the same formidable driver line-up of Le Mans winner and ex-Ferrari Formula One driver Stefan Johansson and test-driver for the BAR Formula One team, Patrick LeMarié. These two highly acclaimed drivers are relishing the challenge, as Stefan explains;
"Our target is definitely to secure a podium place. We appreciate that the opposition will be very strong, particularly from the works teams of Audi and Panoz, but we proved earlier in the season at Jarama that we are competitive against the best. I have run at Laguna many times in both sportscars and single-seaters and that experience will be used to the benefit of the team in our race preparation. Our win at Most was a real boost to everyone associated with Gulf Oil Johansson Racing and in true Gulf traditions we are hungry for more."
International motorsport sponsorship provides Gulf Oil with a platform from which to demonstrate the advanced performance capabilities of Gulf lubricants to a wider audience. The brand's return to the track in 2001 also coincides with the Company's centenary and the decision to re-launch in the UK and across Europe. For Gulf Oil, Vasant Bharath, Vice President - Global Brand Development, recognises the impact that the Gulf-branded Audi R8 creates and is positive about the teams prospects at Laguna Seca;
"We are delighted to be racing again in the 'States after narrowly missing a podium finish at the Sebring 12-Hours in March. Many of the memorable achievements in Gulf's rich motorsport heritage took place in North America and the public have always been great supporters of Gulf-branded sportscars. It is always a great thrill for us to return and we look forward to receiving strong vocal support this weekend."
The Gulf Audi will also compete in the 1000km Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center, Braselton, Georgia, which takes place 5th-6th October 2001
Qualifying for this weekend's ALMS event at Laguna Seca Raceway takes place on Saturday 8th September from 4.50pm to 5.40pm local time. The 2hour 45minute endurance event commences at 12-noon local time on Sunday 9th. Laguna Seca is in Pacific Time, 8-hours behind GMT.