Oliver Gavin lining up for a busy racing year
The flag is ready to drop for the start of a busy racing year for Northamptonshire-based Oliver Gavin. Not only is Oliver just about to leave his home in Yardley Hastings for the United States to take part in the American Le Mans Series season-opening 12 hour race in Sebring, Florida, but he’s also approaching the final stages of training for April’s Virgin London Marathon.
A multiple championship winning driver with Corvette racing in North America, the Bedfordshire-born father of three will be lining up in his canary-yellow Corvette C6.R race car next Saturday, March 20 against fellow competitors in BMWs, Ferraris, Ford GTs, Jaguars and Porsches.
“GT sports car racing, which is the category in which we are racing, is very, very competitive and this year will undoubtedly be closer than ever as we’re up against some really strong driver line ups and professional teams,” says Oliver. “In endurance racing, success comes down to several things – a great car and team, as in all forms of motorsport, a balanced driver line up, strategy, fitness and preparation.”
Oliver, 37, will be sharing the driving in the once-round-the-clock race over the bumpy and physically punishing former airfield circuit in Florida, with his long-time driving partner, Olivier Beretta of Monaco, and a new – but very experienced – team mate, Emmanuel Collard of France.
Preparing for such an arduous event has tied in well with Oliver’s preparations for entry into the 2010 London Marathon. He has been instrumental in gathering together a team of 14 of Britain’s best young racing drivers, all members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, to run and raise money for the CLIC Sargent children’s cancer charity. Oliver, a veteran of several marathons, has set himself a personal target of running the 26.2 miles in less than three hours, and has been pounding the streets, lanes and Northamptonshire countryside in training for the forthcoming challenges on and off the track.
“The Sebring 12 Hours is a very physical race,” continues Oliver, “and you need a lot of endurance to be fully focused throughout. The same qualities you need to get through a marathon. At Sebring, it’s not just the race itself, but also the week leading up to it as there are lots of practice sessions each day, including night practice, as well as many other off-track events. It’s one of the hardest sports car events of the year – very bumpy with lots of fast corners, and it’s usually burning hot in that Florida sun. After 12 hours of racing round there, you know you’ve been in a race; you have to be fit and mentally prepared.
“It’s going to be super-competitive in the GT class as everyone has upped their game for this season and are out to win top honours. I think you’re going to see cut throat action from the first green flag onwards, and I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a season as much as this one for a long time. It’s going to be fantastic!”
For more information on the London Marathon and to donate please visit the team’s JustGiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/BRDC-marathon-legends