Andy Priaulx ( reigning FIA World Touring Car Champion) will compete in the Le Mans 24 hour race with team BMW Motorsport in a car specially designed by Jeff Koons as a rolling sculpture.
The new car will be the 17th in BMW’s fabled “Art Car” series.
Koons explained that the design was inspired by the look of sonic booms, light explosions, and Christmas lights. “These cars have no outside purpose, other than winning,” said Koons. “They’re brutal, and I wanted to capture that.” The interior of the car will be painted in what Koons described as the “lightest shade possible”–a very subtle silver.
Dirk Müller and Dirk Werner will join Priaulx in the three man team, racing one of BMW’s two cars which are set to compete in the race. The art car is due to be unveiled at the start of June with the race set to take place on the 12-13 June.
The Art Car program, after 35 years and 16 cars–created by everyone from Andy Warhol to Alexander Calder to Roy Lichtenstein to Robert Rauschenberg. The best result for the side’s art cars was a sixth place claimed with an Andy Warhol’s designed BMW M1.
The concept for the BMW art cars was introduced by Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and ardent racing driver from France. Poulain was searching for a link between art and cars and he asked his friend and renowned artist Alexander Calder to paint a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL that he would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race. Poulain’s 3.0 CSL was the first car to create a symbiosis between the world of art and the world of motorsport.
Prompted by enormous enthusiasm for this work of art on wheels, BMW then decided to put its brilliant idea of establishing the Art Car Collection into practice.