For its 24th time competing at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours, Larbre Competition decided to dress its #50 Corvette C7.R in a special livery called “Human”, created by the artist and painter Ramzi Adek.
With its vibrant pop and DayGlo livery, Christian Philippon, Romain Brandela and Fernando Rees will not go unnoticed on the 13.629km of the famous Circuit de la Sarthe, which welcomes the 85th edition of the biggest endurance race in the world on 17-18 June.
Unveiled today, Friday 2 June at 15:00 (local time), during the traditional technical and administrative scrutineering before the official Le Mans test day (Sunday 4 June), the #50 Corvette C7.R is completely ready to try out its new livery on the track.
Before the car turns a wheel in its new guise, let’s meet the creator of “Human”, who explains how his involvement in the project made him feel like Larbre Competition’s “fourth driver”.
Ramzi Adek, how did the “Human” project come about?
Romain Brandela, who knew about my work through a mutual friend, contacted me to produce a spectacular livery for the Corvette C7.R that he was going to race at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours. Straight away, I liked the idea as it reminded me of images and memories from when I was a kid, when we would go to a toyshop and run to check out the latest toy cars with their incredible designs. Although I do not have a great knowledge of motorsport, I love nice things and racing cars are certainly part of that. With “Human”, I wanted to design a livery that kids and their parents dream of.
Did you have ‘carte blanche’?
Romain gave me key words that I adapted visually into my pop art style. The main idea of the project was to create a flow of power and strength, which will carry the drivers through the Le Mans week. Straight away, I wanted to give the livery an aggressive identity to make an impact and show that Larbre Competition was not coming to La Sarthe to make up the numbers.
We can clearly feel the influence of superhero comics in the end product…
This is my culture! I lived in the US and I was inspired by the warmth and enthusiasm of comics with DayGlo colours and striking onomatopoeia. These are in fact messages directed to the rivals of Larbre – when the Corvette C7.R overtakes another competitor, he will get a “BOOM” right in the face! There is a slight ‘taking the Mickey’ element, like a boxer who is winding up his opponent in the ring.
Can you please explain the various elements which make up this visual painting?
All are parts of the same story and are linked by the common thread mentioned earlier: to make super-powers available to the drivers in their quest for success at Le Mans. For example, the plane on the roof signifies power, whilst the shield provides protection against the attacks from other cars.
And the female’s face?
There are always women in stories! But this heroine follows the same design concept: her face is determined and has a strong character. She is not there for the story to be written without her. She has a self-assured expression, like drivers assert themselves on the track to play the leading roles. In a way, the car also has its own identity, a bit like KITT in the K-2000 series.
The Larbre Competition Corvette will also reveal another side of her personality after dusk…
Absolutely! The DayGlo paint on the race car will light up in the dark, to give its drivers some positive energy. The night is also a recurring theme with superheroes, who often assume their alternate identities once the sun goes down.
Super-heroes, a car which has its own identity – so why the name “Human” for this Art Car?
Because we always come back to the human side of things. Everybody brought their share to the ‘Human’ project and likewise, Le Mans is a team effort that requires men and women to work together and give their all under enormous pressure. Personally, I had a lot of pleasure working on this project. As a painter and sculptor, I always try to provoke emotions and sensations, and Larbre Competition’s Corvette C7.R is the perfect medium for this.
After launching its Le Mans preparations with a solid performance during the European Le Mans Series’ 4 Hours of Monza, the Larbre Competition team will attend the official test day on Sunday (4 June). There will be eight hours of running on the La Sarthe circuit, as the team continues to fine tune the set-up of the #50 Corvette C7.R, which will compete in the LMGTE AM class.
The long Le Mans week kicks off with the traditional scrutineering on Sunday 11 and Monday 12 June. The official drivers photo will take place on Tuesday 13 June before an autograph session in the pitlane between 17:00 and 18:30.
Free practice will take place on Wednesday 14 June between 16:00 and 20:00, whilst first qualifying will be on the same day between 22:00 and midnight. This will be followed by two more timed sessions on Thursday 15 June, the first one between 19:00 and 21:00, with the second from 22:00 until midnight.
The Drivers’ Parade will get underway in Le Mans town centre on Friday 16 June between 17:30 and 19:00.
The last opportunity to run the cars before the 24 Hours itself will be in the warm-up on Saturday 17 June at 09:00. The 85th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours will then get underway at 15:00 the same day.