Aston Martin Racing has unveiled the Gulf #97 Vantage GTE – a 24 Hours of Le Mans art car that designer Tobias Rehberger created. Last June 8, it was revealed to the public at the official race scrutineering in the town centre. What makes this vehicle stand out is that even when it’s static, it offers the illusion of movement and speed.
Rehberger has been the recipient of multiple awards around the world, one of which is the Golden Lion for best artist at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The German artist is famous for creating abstract art and optical effects that distort perception. He was asked by Aston Martin Racing to design a livery that would work with the Gulf Vantage GTE’s lines and colours as had never been done before.
It was 30 years ago that the first art car joined the 24-hour race. Rehberger will attend the race this Saturday as a guest of Aston Martin Racing. He said that his design is rooted in his interest in distorted perception and related phenomena such as auto moving patterns, optical effects, camouflage and visual confusion.
This design is based on a geometric optical effect pattern. Just like what people perceive in a fast object, it’s impossible to fixate on a point of the pattern. This artwork was commissioned by car #97’s owner who has been an admirer of Rehberger’s work and was curious to see how the race car’s appearance can be manipulated.
Darren Turner, the car’s driver, shared how impressed he was. He said that art cars are “fantastic” and that this design pushes boundaries and challenges how patterns and colors can be used in racecar liveries. This design will be seen on the side of the #97 Vantage GTE in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that starts June 13.