Canadian Tire Motorsport Park news and views from Oliver Gavin

sm_Gavin_1The story of the weekend

• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner finished in second position at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday (10 July, 2016)
• Gavin qualified the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in the sixth position on Saturday, a tenth of a second from the second row in class
• After a strong race, the final pit stop saw Milner gain a couple of positions executing a great undercut strategy, using his warm Michelin rubber to take advantage of others leaving the pits on cold tyres.
• Gavin and Milner retain their championship lead following the 2 hour 40-minute race at the circuit formerly known as Mosport. They now have a five-point advantage over their nearest rival.

Gavin says…

On the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park…
“This track is one of the highlights of the season. It’s fast, demanding and tough. Traffic this year was a real issue, some of the worst I’ve experienced. The circuit was also lacking grip compared to last year, so lap times were slower. One thing to be sure of is the passionate support of the Canadian Corvette fans, amazing turnout as always. Sunday was definitely the best day of the whole weekend for us.”

Second is good, but you always want to win…
“I took the start and straight away it was all action, nose to tail with the BMW and wheel to wheel with the Ferrari! I gained a place when the BMW lost its power steering about 20 laps in and I then chased down the #67 Ford. I was nearly on Richard (Westbrook’s) tail when the team called me in for the first pit stop.

“The race came down to a strategy call that the #67 Ford made while we were under caution with over 60 laps to go. This put them out of sequence with the rest of the field. Tommy did a great job once again to chase as hard as he could, but just ran out of laps to catch Ryan (Briscoe) in the #67.

“We always want the win but if someone had offered us second at the start of the day we would have taken it. Tommy said to me that second felt like a win!”

Chasing the setup at this tricky circuit…
“Friday and Saturday’s running was compromised by heavy rain showers and come Qualifying on Saturday afternoon we gambled a little on the chassis setup. The times were very close but I ended up P6 with an oversteering car… not ideal on the high speed sweeping nature of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Antonio in the sister car did a great job and qualified on pole!”

On the championship battle and being back in the hunt…
“The championship battle is getting a little tight at the top, we now lead by five points from the 67 Ford. The great thing about this weekend was that our outright pace was so much more competitive, at least we can now fight.

“But the really key thing that I take away from the last two races is how well we are working as a team. Tommy and I are working well together with the engineering staff and our crew is operating at the highest level. We are regularly gaining spots during the pit stops. Brian Hoye (Crew Chief) has the boys practicing and practicing the stops every day and it’s paying off. The whole team is working as that, a team. It’s great to be a part of that.”

A short break now until Lime Rock…
“We now have a weekend off, so I’m heading home to the UK to see my family. I head back on Sunday to Atlanta to do a Corvette Grand Sport event at the beginning of next week before then heading up to Connecticut for Lime Rock.

“Lime Rock Park is the smallest track we race on all year and it will be an intense and crazy two-day day race weekend. All four classes will be competing on the track – roughly 40 cars – and it’s likely to be a very bruising affair with so much traffic. I can hear my crew chief now ‘keep the fenders on it!'”

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

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