Post-Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona news and views from Oliver Gavin

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HEADLINES

  • Oliver Gavin claims sensational Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona win
  • The victory is Olly’s first in the Rolex 24
  • Olly has now won world motorsport’s two blue riband 24-hour races back-to-back – Le Mans and Daytona
  • Winning margin in GTLM the closest in the history of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
  • Sensational battle to the line with the sister #3 Corvette
  • Turbulent race for the #4 Corvette makes the victory sweeter
  • High-speed puncture nearly put paid to Olly’s race in the early hours
  • Late pit lane penalty for Marcel Fassler seemingly dropped the #4 car out of contention with three hours to go
  • VITAL STATISTICS

  • A winning margin of just 0.034s in GTLM
  • Three cars finish on the lead lap in GTLM
  • The #4 Corvette completes 722 racing laps and a distance of 2570 miles
  • Average speed of 107mph
  • Fastest lap: 1m44.9s (122.27mph)
  • Olly drives for nine hours, completing 280 laps in total
  • Olly walked 17.7km out of the car over the course of the race
  • Olly burned 9300 calories over the course of the 24 hours

    Oliver says:

    On winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the first time…

    “I’m thrilled. It was an amazing day and race, which had so many up and downs; we led, we had problems, we just kept bouncing back.The car was in a nice spot for me all race, but we were especially strong and had the ability to put pressure on our rivals at night. Understandably, I am very satisfied!”

    On the battle to the flag with Antonio Garcia…

    “With 20 minutes to go I realised it was between the two of us. What followed was an intense, hard-fought battle. I knew the relative strengths of Antonio, I know him well as a friend and we train and run together often, so I know he is aware of my strengths and weaknesses too and I was waiting for the move. He got a slingshot into Turn 1 through the tri-oval with a lap to go, got alongside and then edged in front, but he got slightly sideways and as I fought back we were very close to touching. Into Turn 3 I got back ahead and hung on to the last lap. Again, out of the Bus Stop, he got a good run at me and through the banking he was closing. It was like the line was stretching away from me, but, fortunately, it came just in time for me to win with the closest finish in history.”

    On Marcel Fassler’s pit penalty…

    “Initially I wondered what the penalty was for, then there was confusion and resignation, but I waited and hoped for a caution that would get us back into the fray. It was a huge mountain to climb to pass the five cars in front of us, but a combination of luck and strategy would get us through.”

    On the moment he got a flat at 190mph on the Turn 4 banking…

    “It was a bit of a scary moment. I was on the tail of Gianmaria Bruni’s Ferrari, shaping up a move with both of us on the outside of the Krohn Racing Audi R8 GTD when the pressure light on the right-front tyre went red. I thought ‘s**t!’ as it went down from 22, 20 and then to 12psi, as I still had to pass the Audi and dive last-second into the pit lane, or else I would have to complete a full lap with a flat and that could have ended our race. Fortunately I made the pits, but I couldn’t get the car slowed and we got a speeding penalty. It was worth it to get the car safely into the pits and stay in the race, but there was so nearly a very different outcome.”

    On his hopes for the remainder of the 2016 season…

    “Well it was a fantastic start and a big confidence boost for the Corvette Racing team to begin with a win, and we all feel we can take this momentum forward to Sebring and beyond. Daytona is a particularly special track and there will be a big difference in the performance characteristics at other circuits, but the new Corvette C7.R with its new aero package seems to work and suit Tommy (Milner) and I very well. The rest of the season will be tough and very competitive, but we will take this Daytona victory and the confidence it brings forward with us.”

    For more information on Oliver Gavin and his racing activities, please visit the officialwww.olivergavin.com website, ‘like’ his Facebook page or follow @olivergavin on Twitter.

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