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IDEC Sport Unveils Matra Tribute Livery

Blue-and-gold colors for ELMS intended to celebrate 50th anniversary of Matra’s last 24 Hours of Le Mans win…

Photo: IDEC Sport

IDEC Sport has revealed a new livery paying tribute to the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Matra cars of the early 1970s for the new European Le Mans Series season.

The French outfit’s No. 28 Oreca 07 Gibson will be decked out in a shade of blue inspired by the Matra-Simca MS670 and MS670Bs that claimed three consecutive wins at Le Mans in 1972, ’73 and ’74, with white and gold highlights.

As previously announced, Paul Lafargue, Reshad de Gerus and Job van Uitert will share driving duties for the ELMS and Le Mans.

While the design is not specifically based on any of the cars that won at Le Mans, which featured blue-and-green liveries, Lafargue explained that the idea was to create a modern interpretation of the classic Matra colors.

“We started out in the 70s, with the famous blue, which we wanted to be modern and deep,” said Lafargue. “So we opted for the metallic side. There’s also the white line down the side and the white cockpit, which you could see on the Matras of the time.

“There was green, red and yellow to differentiate [the Matras of the early ’70s], but we chose gold. It’s a tribute to victory, medals and trophies.

“When it came to applying these choices, we were divided: we were thinking of something modern, which can be found in LMP2, or retro to respect Matra’s history. We decided to go for a good mix.

“I like the result, it’s still classy and I’ll be proud to drive in it. The aim wasn’t to surprise, but to rekindle a flame. We just want to bring the brand up to date and make it evolve so that it fits in with current endurance racing.”

While Matra ceased to exist as an automotive brand in 2003, it lives on as a brand of electric-assisted bicycles, owned by the Rebirth Group, which announced its partnership with IDEC at the Retromobile classic car show at the end of January.

Rebirth’s deputy managing director Emilie Rambonona added: “We wanted to recapture the spirit of the Matra team’s three victories in ’72, ’73 and ’74. We took the emblematic blue and combined it with gold, which is synonymous with victory.

“It’s sober, like Matra, which focused essentially on performance. We have a heritage, so it gives us ideas, and we capitalise on that. The main message is that we want to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Matra’s last victory at Le Mans.”

The LMP2 livery will also be used on IDEC’s LMP3 entry in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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