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Not long now until we wave goodbye to Ben BarkerAdam Carroll and Mike Wainwright of Gulf Racing as they head into the start of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours!

It’s been over two weeks since the team at Gulf Racing arrived in Le Mans, France and at last, race day has arrived!

The team has been hard at work over the last fortnight, testing the iconic orange and blue Porsche 991 RSR, as well as preparing all three drivers for one of the most famous endurance races in the motorsports calendar as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

All three drivers will (of course!) be wearing their temperature-regulating base layers, which have been proven to reduce perspiration and heart rate.

Good Luck to Gulf Racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours!

The atmosphere has been building up over the weeks but excitement levels reached new heights last night when cheering crowds gathered from near and far to give support to the drivers during the Le Mans Driver Parade! There have been days of waiting but now the stage is well and truly set.

All that’s left to say is one last ‘Bonne Chance!’ to our partner, Gulf Racing! Have an amazing race, guys!

Race start is 3pm today. You can follow the drivers during the race by clicking here.


All photos in this article are owned by Gulf Racing and were sourced from the Gulf Racing Facebook page.

 

In 2016, Walero partner Gulf Racing UK took the step up they had been preparing for over the last two seasons and entered the FIA World Endurance Championship – nine races around the globe of fierce competition against the best endurance racing teams in the world.

The cornerstone event of this mighty challenge is the 24 hours of Le Mans – arguably the greatest motor race on the international calendar and one steeped in history for the iconic Gulf brand.

Along with Autosport performance, partners Position One Motorsport and Gulf Racing have been preparing for their assault on this epic race, bringing into the equation partners Walero and Boomerang Pro Fitness, to help in the lead-up.

Position One has the facility to not only coach the driver in terms of his skill set behind the wheel, but also test, evaluate and ultimately improve the driver’s performance from a biomechanical perspective. With the ability to control the environmental variables inside the virtual cockpit, we can also perform some very well controlled analytical assessments on the driver’s equipment.” – Matt Beers, Technical Director at Position One.

It was with this in mind that Position One joined forces with Gulf Racing and their fireproof base-layer supplier, Walero, to evaluate relative performance and gather some useful data for both parties to better understand the endurance racing scenario and their part in it.

“The driver [FIA WEC driver Ben Barker] completed two 30-minute stints of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on the Position One Motorsport motion simulator in full racing kit. The first stint was completed wearing the Walero base layers and the second stint was completed wearing alternative base layers. Resting heart rate and blood pressure were both recorded and the second stint could not begin until the driver had returned to these levels. The simulator was set at a controlled ambient temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. This temperature was chosen because it represents the upper limit of what cockpit temperature is permitted in the World Endurance Championship. Bodyweight (kg) was measured before and after stints on the simulator and water intake was controlled in order to carry out accurate sweat-testing procedures. Heart rate and core body temperature were then recorded every 60 seconds in real-time using the BioCOM physiological monitoring system during the 30-minute stints on the simulator.” – John Camilleri, Director & Owner at Boomerang Pro Fitness

Whilst only a small sample data set, the initial testing showed some interesting results, demonstrating a reduced sweat rate and correspondingly a reduced heart rate during the stint conducted in the Walero kit, suggesting more efficiency at maintaining a homeostatic balance and also giving the team an indication of Barker’s physiological (as well as on-track) performance under those specific conditions in real-time.

“What this shows is that with the correct facility, equipment and expertise, there is a huge amount we can do in preparing for this kind of racing activity, be that a controlled assessment of kit, or an environmental assessment and resultant preparation and training programme for a driver.  Of course, all these elements are interlinked and we can use the simulator and other facilities for the mutual evaluations and then target specific development in each area.” – Matt Beers

Gulf Racing will travel to Le Mans in the knowledge they have made the right choice of partner in Walero Motorsport and Position One has helped them head to France for the race as well prepared as they can be.

Walero is proud to support all its partners in their upcoming race events and would like to wish all of them the best of luck in the season ahead!


Original feature published by Gulf Racing UK on May 24th 2016. Read it here.