Gulf Racing History
Gulf Racing has a long and spectacular history. In 1966 Grady Davis, vice-president of Gulf Oil bought himself a Ford GT40 and formed a lasting friendship with John Wyer. Nine eventful years followed with arguably the most successful commercial partnership in racing history. With Ford GT40’s, Porsche 917’s, three world championships, three outright victories at Le Mans and an association with some of the world’s greatest drivers – this was the golden era of sports car racing.
Pedro Rodriguez and Jo Siffert established new records everywhere they raced the Gulf Porsche 917, their exploits at Brands Hatch, Le Mans, Spa Francorchamps, the Nurburgring and Daytona are now legendary.
Steve McQueen’s film ‘Le Mans’ gave the Gulf Porsche 917 iconic status.
Gulf went on to win the 24 hours of Le Mans again in 1975, sponsoring the Mirage Ford driven by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell and returned to Le Mans again with Derek in 1994 when he drove a Kremer Porsche K8 to sixth place.
In the late sixties and early seventies, Gulf had a hugely successful partnership with Bruce McLaren’s team in the fields of Can-Am, Indy cars and Formula One. This liaison produced numerous victories and championships and was resurrected in 1995 when Gulf Oil returned to a racing partnership with McLaren and the privately owned race team of Ray Bellm.
For three years the Gulf McLaren F1 GTR was dominant, winning 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT Class at Le Mans in 1997.
In their centenary year of 2001, Gulf Oil sponsored an Audi R8 in which Stefan Johansson won the European Le Mans Series.
In 2011 Mike Wainwright and Roald Goethe, gentlemen drivers with a huge passion for the sport and the heritage the team now represents, formed a team under the name Gulf AMR Middle East to compete in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the precursor to the World Endurance Championship. Carrying the distinctive blue and Orange livery once again and with the support of Gulf Oil international the pair contested the championship with an Aston Martin Vantage GT2. Roald left Gulf Racing at the start of 2016, with the team now led and owned exclusively by Mike Wainwright.
Since then the team has evolved and developed, working with McLaren, Porsche, Lamborghini and Aston Martin competing under the Gulf Racing name the team co-founders have contested all the top European and International Endurance races and championships alongside an array of contemporary professional GT racing drivers. The story continues as Gulf Racing takes a new Black and Gold livery to the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans with Porsche…