Trico is to return to Le Mans with the DragonSpeed LMP1 team for its 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans challenge in the quest for outright honours.
50 years ago, a blue and orange Ford GT40 took victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Trico products keeping the windshield clear of water and the Trico name emblazoned on the side of the car.
Half a century later, Trico is back at the world’s greatest endurance race, challenging for the victory podium in a similarly liveried prototype sportscar, once again in partnership with another iconic brand, Gulf Oil.
DragonSpeed’s challenger – the Gibson-engined BR Engineering BR1 – evokes the spirit of that 1969 Le Mans victory. Clothed in the same famous powder blue and orange Gulf livery carried by the 1969 car, the sleek sports prototype is among the elite of endurance racing sportscars – the LMP1 category – and will battle against the might of Toyota’s star-studded factory team, headed by none other than F1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, and other established teams, like Rebellion and SMP Racing, in a fiercely-fought contest.
“When we were approached to be part of the 2019 Le Mans story, it was too good an opportunity to miss, and we are delighted to partner with DragonSpeed, whose winning pedigree has already been demonstrated this season at Daytona and Spa,” enthused Trico Senior Brand and Product Manager, Sam Robinson.
“We know it will be a really big ask, competing against the other contenders for outright victory at this historic race, but it was the same 50 years ago when Ford won an incredibly close battle with the fancied Porsche team, very much against the odds.”
“Trico is a historic automotive name with great products, and we are excited to have them on-board as part of our Le Mans challenge,” said DragonSpeed Team Principal, Elton Julian. “We’re proud to carry this famous brand with its own racing heritage on our LMP1 car, and its passion in partnering with us is something the entire team really values.”
Trico Managing Director, Adam Richards, added: “This is such an exciting venture for all of us at Trico and to be with a potential Le Mans-winning team is incredible – we wish our drivers, team crew and partners the very best.
“This race is a global event watched by millions, and not only is it the 50th anniversary of our win in the closest-ever finish at Le Mans, but Trico recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, making us the oldest wiper systems manufacturer in the world and underscoring our long history built on the development and supply of quality products to the automotive industryand consumer alike.”
DragonSpeed is a multi-programme race team with a growing sportscar racing pedigree, and this season it has become the first team to have secured LMP2 class wins in the WEC, ELMS and America’s IMSA series.
Three weeks ago, the team also made its Indianapolis 500 debut, qualifying Britain’s Ben Hanley in its first visit to the famed Brickyard. Hanley forms part of the driver line-up for Gulf and DragonSpeed at Le Mans, together with Dutchman,Renger van der Zande, and Swedish pilot, Henrik Hedman.
Qualifying for Le Mans takes place from June 12-13, with the race starting at 15:00 CET on Saturday, June 15.