Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin followed up his runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago with a third place today in the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America after a charge from ninth place in the final hour of the race.
Northamptonshire’s Gavin finished 4.945 seconds behind the winning BMW of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand in what was another thrilling and closely fought GT battle. His Corvette team mates, Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell, took the sister C6.R to fourth place as no fewer than nine GT cars finished on the lead lap.
“It was another good result for the No. 4 car and I really enjoyed the racing today,” said Olly, who drove the final two stints. “At the end we didn’t have quite enough to take on Pat Long, who was just ahead of me, or catch the BMW – it seemed like we used everything up trying to get to the front from the back of the pack at the start of the race. We had a huge amount of ground to gain, and we certainly made up a lot of it.
“We had a lot of pick up on the tires at the start of the race, and dropped back much further than where we’d have liked to be. But it seemed that we weren’t the only ones to suffer in that direction, and managed to make up the ground as the race progressed, helped by the four full course caution periods which closed the field up nicely.”
Shortly after the first hour, Olly took over from his team mate, Olivier Beretta, and rejoined the race in 11th place. After a final pit stop under the fourth caution period, he moved from seventh to fifth in the space of four laps, and set off in hot pursuit of the leaders. Both Corvettes passed the No. 62 Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni twelve laps before the chequered flag and began to reel in Patrick Long’s Flying Lizard Porsche in a fight for second.
“I thought, ‘All right, game on’. I got up behind Pat and was trying to pressure him into making a mistake but didn’t quite succeed. Then it was like flipping a switch on the car and we really started to struggle. We were working the left-side tires pretty hard, and that’s something that the team will continue to work on as we develop this relatively new GT car. It was great to have another podium finish today, but I’d like to get a trophy with No. 1 on it. We’ve still got a lot of work to do on the car which will start with the test at Mosport on Wednesday this coming week.”
Oliver’s next race will be the eighth and penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport next Sunday, August 29 at 3:05 pm.