‘We were approached by the owner of the car who is a fan of artist Tobias Rehberger. He was interested to see how he could manipulate the appearance of the racing V8 Vantage which is based on the road car. We said “okay!”‘ So says Aston Martin Racing’s Warren Jones of exactly how this year’s number 97 Le Mans entry came to bear such a striking colour scheme.
GRR knew that the car was being rushed to the Festival of Speed after its efforts at La Sarthe and upon clapping eyes on it we had to beg that it be wheeled into our studio for what it turns out might be the only studio pictures that will ever be taken of the car in this livery. Warren again: ‘Yes, it was a one-off scheme for Le Mans and the car has now been returned to its blue and orange Gulf livery.’
The stunning livery is one of those you either love or hate. We love it. After all it’s carrying on a long tradition of ‘art cars’ begun so famously by BMW. The scheme for this V8 Vantage was kept top secret, which meant going as far as applying the livery over three days in a locked pit garage at Le Mans before it was debuted at scrutineering. Predictably the public’s response was mixed, although it did its job of attracting a lot of attention.
In the race the car was doing well until, during the 11th hour, a driver error caused the car’s sump to come into contact with a raised kerb. This emptied the motor of its oil and ended up damaging the rumbling V8. But Aston Martin will be back at Le Mans next year where things are looking extra spicy in the two GTE categories, with the Ford GT joining the fray and going toe-to-toe with the Aston Martins, Ferraris, Porsches and this year’s victors, Corvette. We absolutely cannot wait.