DragonSpeed has revealed a Gulf livery for its LMP1-class BR Engineering BR1 Gibson at scrutineering ahead of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The American team’s car arrived for the annual weigh-in event through Le Mans town center on Monday with a blue-and-orange design that also features glow-in-the-dark star logos.
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian told Sportscar365 that the Gulf sponsorship deal is a one-off and is not set to appear on the team’s Oreca 07 Gibson that competes in the European Le Mans Series.
This year’s Le Mans is set to be DragonSpeed’s last in the LMP1 category after it recently announced its intentions to scale back its sports car program to focus on IndyCar.
“We’re happy to partner with such a legendary brand and have an iconic livery at this event,” said Julian.
“I think it shows the strength of the team and the momentum that we carry, not just as an on-track product but as a commercial viability.
“You want to be here year after year and prove that you can be a winner everywhere you go, in IMSA, WEC and ELMS. The crew that we have in IndyCar is a new team, so it’s all starting to bear fruit now.
“We kept the basic design of the car so fans can still identify with it. There are some stars that will pop up at night, which should be cool.
“It’s a real honor to be approached by them and for the team to be associated with them.”
DragonSpeed Unsure About BR1 Reliability
DragonSpeed driver Renger van der Zande, who is sharing the team’s No. 10 BR1 Gibson with Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman, said the team is taking cautious approach to Le Mans this year.
The trio gave the DragonSpeed LMP1 car its race debut in the 2018 edition of the French enduro, but their run was ended by an accident.
Van der Zande told Sportscar365 that the team lost time during the pre-event Test Day, where it completed fewer miles than the rest of the LMP1 field.
“I think the car will be a lot better, but I’m not sure about how reliable the car is,” he said.
“It also had a lot of mileage, but most of the parts are brand new going into this race. In the [pre-event] test we had a gearbox issue, but that was only because the gearbox was way over-mileage.
“We wanted to have it brand new for this race weekend, so I think we played it smart. The reliability is something that will play into the game with us, but if not, it’s very simple for us.
“Toyota is in their own league. The other [LMP1 non-hybrids] have a great lineup where they can be a little bit better than us.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, driving around, maybe not at 100 percent and be nice to the car, we might end up on a good result. I think that’s what we’re going to do.”