Magic Johansson Leads Gulf charge in Portugal

London, UK, Wednesday 11th July 2001: The Gulf Audi R8 with Le Mans winner and ex-Ferrari Formula One driver Stefan Johansson heads the line-up of cars competing in this weekends Estoril 1000km, knowing that a win will boost the Gulf teams chances...

London, UK, Wednesday 11th July 2001: The Gulf Audi R8 with Le Mans winner and ex-Ferrari Formula One driver Stefan Johansson heads the line-up of cars competing in this weekends Estoril 1000km, knowing that a win will boost the Gulf teams chances of clinching the European Le Mans Series outright and reward them with an automatic qualification for next years Le Mans 24 Hours.

After two rounds of the ELMS, the Gulf-sponsored Johansson Racing team lie in second place. The absence from the Portuguese race of the leading works Audis determines that a win by the 3.6 litre twin-turbo powered Gulf Audi R8 will put the team ahead of the field with only two rounds remaining.

For Gulf Oil, Vice President - Global Brand Development, Vasant Bharath explains, "we shall be keeping our fingers crossed that good fortune is with us. The team are well prepared but we are only too aware that in a long distance race there are many factors to consider." He continues, "last weekend at the Goodwood Festival the car was an immediate crowd puller, and yet again confirmed the feelings that surround the traditional powder blue and orange livery of Gulf Oil. The public expect success and after a disappointing Le Mans we are looking to get back on-track with a strong result and a bit of the Johansson magic in Estoril."

The driver line-up of ex-Ferrari Formula One star Stefan Johansson, BAR Formula One test driver Patrick Lemarie, and former Formula Three and Formula Nippon Champion Tom Coronel underlines the importance that the Gulf team attaches to the race and their determination to secure a maiden win in 2001. Estoril has happy memories for Stefan and Team Director Mike Earle who were part of the Onyx Formula One team that gained a podium finish in Estoril in 1989 and both men will be looking to leave the circuit on Sunday evening with further success.

The race starts at 11.00 Sunday 15th July, qualifying takes place on Saturday 14th at 11.45am

-GR-

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Series General
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Patrick Lemarié , Tom Coronel