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Oliver Gavin news and views following a podium at the Total 24 Hours of Spa

sm_flag-1The story of the weekend

Oliver Gavin joined Barwell Motorsport for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, round four of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (30-31 July, 2016), teaming up with Jon Minshaw, Phil Keen and Joe Osbourne, in the #666 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the Pro-Am Cup.

  • After some great driving from the whole squad, the #666 ran second in class with four hours remaining only for a puncture to drop them down to fourth. A late push saw Gavin and the team secure a well-earned podium position.
  • This weekend with Barwell Motorsport, Keen qualified the Lamborghini in 20th position in what was the 68th running of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but with penalties for others, lined up in ninth overall in the 65-car field.
  • The team lost a lot of time as a result of the wheel gun malfunctioning when Gavin took his first stint costing the team 55-seconds.
  • Incidents aplenty for the #666 car with a puncture and contact within the first 12 hours, but progress overnight and into Sunday morning saw the Barwell Motorsport Team running a strong second in class, 22nd overall, with four hours remaining.
  • A late race puncture dropped the team back to fourth in class with three hours remaining but with attrition and some great driving from his teammates under intense pressure, the #666 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 came home in third position in class, 17th overall.
  • Gavin leads the WeatherTech GTLM championship having just take Corvette Racing’s 100th victory last time out at Lime Rock.
  • Gavin heads back stateside for next weekend’s race at Road America (5-7 August).

    Gavin says…

    Thoughts on the Total 24 Hours of Spa

    “It was an intense race. A race of changing conditions, great strategy calls and big pressure as this year the competition was even more intense, a much higher level of driving. My teammates all did a fantastic job, no question and I did my bit ,using my experience and knowledge built up over the years of racing in GT cars. The team and out engineer Andy did a great job with the car. Also talking me though the conditions and strategy in while in the car it’s an excellent result.”

    How the rain effected thing in the latter stages?
    “It was tricky when the rain first started to fall. The team were talking to me about the conditions and the team said it was going to pass relatively quickly so we made the decision to stay on slicks when nearly everyone else went to wets.

    “It was only wet for seven or eight laps but it was sketchy at times but I managed it and then pitted for fresh slicks as a dry line started to appear and this kept us on the right strategy for the stops to the finish.

    “It then of course rained again and we switched to wets – scrubbed ones – as we thought it was a passing shower. This time however it was very heavy with standing water and aquaplaning which was very bad for the first three laps but then it stabilised.

    “I was then able to take big chunks out of the car in front and I got us up to second in class before Jon took over but unfortunately he picked up a puncture which was a real shame as he was going so well in the wet.”

    There was a fair bit of incident, some contact, pitstop issues and two punctures…
    “We had the wheel gun malfunction that cost us the 55-seconds, we were hit twice and we were collected in someone else’s accident, plus two punctures but in a 24-hour race these things are likely to happen.”

    The Lamborghini is very different from the Corvette
    “I’ve driven the Corvette for a number of years and it can take some getting used to when you switch cars. It’s almost as if you have to forget large chunks of what you’ve learned and start from scratch. The three main differences in the Lamborghini are the ABS, the Pirelli tyre and the engine being in the middle! These things all takes some getting used to but we found the pace and in the end secured a great result for the team.”

    A good experience with Barwell Motorsport overall
    “It’s been a good week and I’ve enjoyed racing with a British team again. I’d like to thank all at Barwell Motorsport, fantastic job by all but special mention has to go to Mark Lemmer and Chris Needell for helping me in putting this together.”

    Just a short pause now before Road America, another classic circuit and a championship to defend
    “I think I have something like ten hours at home before I head back to the US. Road America has been good historically for Corvette Racing and going from Lime Rock to there is really quite a jump, in terms of circuit size and layout. It’s a real challenge and always provides great racing for the fans.

    “It’s so different from Lime Rock – it’s fast – and there isn’t a driver out there who doesn’t enjoy the challenge of Elkhart Lake. We’re of course heading there as the championship leaders and that’s what we need to ensure we maintain with only 4 rounds of the championship left…”

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

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    Pre-Monterey Grand Prix news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPR6822HEADLINES

  • Oliver Gavin heads to the historic and beloved Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 4 of the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship
  • Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner lead the championship on 105 points
  • The Corvette Racing pairing hold a “valuable” 18-point lead over BMW and Porsche
  • Gavin hopes for another “strong, consistent” performance to consolidate his points lead
  • New tyre from Michelin adds another variable to the Monterey Grand Prix

    Gavin says…

    On his and teammate Tommy Milner’s early run of success…

    “Tommy (Milner) and I are working really well together and we’ve had a great start to the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship. In 2015 we had pace and some really good races, but nothing ran for us, except the 24 Hours of Le Mans, of course! We’ve continued working hard as a unit – not just Tommy and I, but the entire Corvette Racing crew – and things have fallen into place this year.”

    On the legendary Laguna Seca…

    “The Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of my favourite races on the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship calendar. The track is very challenging, partly because of the low-grip surface, the width of the circuit, the shape and profile of the corners and the elevation changes. It all makes for excellent racing and a great spectacle.”

    On the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and Laguna Seca…

    “I think we’ve demonstrated that the 2016-spec Corvette C7.R is a competitive package on all different racetracks, so we are quietly confident going to Laguna Seca. The major difference this weekend is that everyone has new tyres from Michelin and this could shake things up. These are the tyres that we will run at Le Mans and then for the rest of the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship, so we have to hope the new rubber suits our car the best. You’re never 100 per cent sure until you’re out on track against everybody else.”

    On the points situation and the objectives for the 2016 Monterey Grand Prix…

    “The start to 2016 has been almost perfect for the #4 Corvette and we intend to stay in the groove this weekend at Laguna Seca. The points lead we currently have is very valuable and a great foundation for the rest of the season. We just need another strong, consistent performance to keep that championship scoreboard ticking over.”

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

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    Post-Grand Prix at Long Beach news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPN1054HEADLINES

  • Oliver Gavin takes second in GTLM
  • Result increases Gavin’s championship lead to 18 points
  • Gavin cruelly denied victory after being spun out by rival Porsche with two laps to go

    STORY OF THE RACE

  • A rollercoaster race
  • Fairly uneventful start for Gavin, but puncture intervenes and brings fuel consumption to the fore for the #4 Corvette
  • Track position improved when rivals penalised for pit lane and track infringements
  • Full course caution 30 minutes from the end puts Gavin on a strong footing for the race victory
  • Assault by the #912 Porsche with two laps to go denies Gavin and Tommy Milner what would have been a hard-earned win.

    Gavin says…

    On his opening stint…

    “I started the car from P4 and had a fairly uneventful first lap. The Porsches ahead were clearly fast, but I managed to overhaul the BMW and had started to pull away from the sister #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.”

    On the pain of the puncture…

    “Having had a fairly decent start, the car became inconsistent after about 30 minutes. I could see from the monitoring system that the left-front was down on pressure and it was on the next lap that the team came over the radio to confirm the puncture.

    “The early stop really screwed us. We needed to complete another seven laps to be in the fuel window and fuel-saving from then until the end of the race would seriously effect our pace.”

    On the full course caution…

    “As we were short on fuel, we really needed a full course yellow and luck was on our side. Our rivals were given penalties for speeding in the pit lane and the BMW had been penalised for hitting an LMPC car, so we somehow found ourselves in P1 with a 15-second lead, despite Tommy’s fuel-saving. So when an LMPC car ground to a halt, it was just what we needed.”

    On the incident with the #912 Porsche

    “At the restart, a sprint to the flag. Tommy did a great job when the track went green, pulling a gap on the sister #3 Corvette that was holding the Porsches back. Unfortunately, Antonio (Garcia) had an off that let the Porsches through and they were soon on our tail.

    “Then, with two laps to go, the #912 car made a desperate lunge and drilled the back of our car. Round we both went, leaving Nick Tandy in his sister #911 Porsche to slip through for the lead and the win. It was a very frustrating way for the race to finish for all on our car. Saying that, second was still a very strong finish considering everything that happened.”

    On the Corvette Racing team’s performance and his championship lead…

    “After our early setback, P2 is a good result for the team. We maximised everything and everybody should be really proud of what they achieved. Tommy and I have got off to a near-perfect start this season and, while there will no doubt be a few twists and turns along the way, we are sitting in a good position right now in terms of the championship.”

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

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    Pre-Grand Prix at Long Beach news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPR5635a

    HEADLINES

  • Oliver Gavin returns to the USA for the start of the “regular” WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship
  • Line-ups return to the two-driver format, with Gavin partnered by long-term teammate, Tommy Milner
  • First outing since the Daytona-Sebring double victory for the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
  • Gavin and Milner looking to build on their lead in the championship standings
  • LONG BEACH ESSENTIALS

  • Race lasting just 100 minutes presents little room for error
  • The tight, concrete wall-lined Long Beach Street Circuit demands precision
  • Single pit stop and driver-change adds to the intensity
  • Gavin elected to qualify the #4 Corvette and start Saturday’s (16 April) race
  • Gavin hoping for better fortune than in 2015, when a first corner incident denied them a top result

    Gavin says…

    On his expectations for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach…

    “After starting the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship with wins at Daytona and Sebring, everybody will be expecting great things from us. The reality is that Long Beach is such a unique challenge at only 100 minutes in duration that everything has to be perfect if you are to deliver a win. Mistakes are punished hard and good fortune is needed to get to victory lane.”

    After 36 hours of racing in two events, what are the specific challenges of the Grand Prix at Long Beach?

    “One pit stop, one driver-change and a tight street circuit means everybody has to be on their game from start to finish. Taking on fuel and changing tyres will take around 25 seconds and switching the drivers will take at least that amount of time, so the way Tommy (Milner) and I swap is going to be crucial. On-track we have to stay clean, as recovering from any misfortune is almost impossible, as we found in 2015.”

    On developments to the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R…

    “There aren’t really any major developments for this race, only minor things. The biggest change for us is a refuelling flow rate restriction imposed through the championship’s Balance of Performance (BoP). As time spent stationary in the pits during a single stop is critical for track position, it could be a significant obstacle for us this coming weekend.”

    On the competition at Long Beach…

    “Last year, Porsche was very strong on the Long Beach Street Circuit and Ferrari seemed to have a well-balanced car too, so I am sure they will be the ones to beat again. Traction out of the final corner is critical and Porsche seemed to master that in 2015. Ford will be keen to have a good showing after poor results at Daytona and Sebring, so I won’t rule it out, but we’ve had the winning car so far this season and I hope to be in the mix once again.”

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

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    News and views from Oliver Gavin: 12 Hours of Sebring

    sm_2RPN2260HEADLINES

  • Sensational victory for Oliver Gavin and the #4 Corvette
  • A brutal race in extremely testing conditions
  • Fiercely competitive in GTLM wih relentless nose-to-tail tussles
  • Race stopped with the clock ticking at the 2h50m mark due to severe rain and lightning
  • Storming drive by Olly’s regular teammate, Tommy Milner, to battle to the front in both parts of the race
  • Victory looked unlikely as Marcel Fassler had a series of minor offs while fighting the worst of the conditions at the 6h30m mark
  • Gavin takes a commanding points lead in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (NAEC)

    THE STORY OF THE RACE

  • Six GTLM cars on the lead lap at the flag
  • Margin of victory of 2.8s
  • The #4 Corvette completed 235 racing laps and 879 miles
  • Driver running order: Marcel Fassler, Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner
  • Changeable conditions tested the cars and drivers to the limit and beyond
  • Big incident involving the sister #3 Corvette and rival #911 Porsche helps the #4 Corvette’s cause
  • Gavin drives the crucial third stint to regain a lap and set up Milner’s storming drive to victory

    Gavin says…

    On a welcome but unexpected victory…

    “Before the weekend and looking at the Balance of Performance (BoP) restrictions that were imposed on us, as well as the opposition’s testing pace, victory looked unlikely.

    “It’s a testament to the experience, quality and strength and depth of the Corvette Racing team that it has risen to these challenges, whether they be engineering, conditions or strategy-related.”

    “We had a superbly prepared racecar and, together with great work from Michelin, we made all the right calls.”

    On the weather conditions…

    “On the 16 occasions I have raced at Sebring International Raceway, I have never seen rain, so this was a complete first for me. It was a challenge for everyone!

    “IMSA has to be given credit for learning lessons from last year’s Petit Le Mans and handling this race so well. They made the right decisions at the right times and, while the track was treacherous, they gauged when it was and when it wasn’t raceable.”

    On the #4 Corvette’s trips across the Floridian scenery at the midway point…

    “Marcel (Fassler) was unlucky to take over the car at such a tricky time, as the track was drying, but it was never really clean cut between slicks and wet weather tyres. The track was treacherous to say the least and he did well to avoid a bigger off than he had, although it was a little alarming to see the car driving around with the course markers stuck to the front. We were lucky that it didn’t overheat and damage the engine.”

    On Tommy Milner’s contribution to the win…

    “Tommy was absolutely brilliant. In the first session, he hauled the car up into first place, until the rain came and shuffled the pack. He then had to deal with the race stoppage and taking a difficult restart. When I handed the car to him with three hours to go, there was still a lot to do, as we were fourth, but on the lead lap. He handled the darkness well and raced the competition effectively to take the car back to the front, despite several high-pressured restarts. He earned us the win.”

    On his Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup chances…

    “It’s very satisfying to be leading the championship so convincingly. We are hitting all of our objectives as a team and the Corvette Racing family is a happy place to be at the moment. The team thrives on the challenges of endurance racing and that can be seen, not just in these first two rounds of 2016, but our 24 Hours of Le Mans win from last year and our record over the past two seasons. For sure, we won’t rest on our laurels, but it is a very strong position to be in.”

    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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    News and views from Oliver Gavin: Week 11

    sm_OG_and_ML-crop2HEADLINES

  • Oliver Gavin confirms he will contest the Total Spa 24 Hours in a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3;
  • He unveils the new Corvette Grand Sport at the Geneva Motorshow;
  • He launches his 2016 young driver development programme in Shanghai, China with a three-day test with Eurasia Motorsport and Aidan Read.

    Oliver Gavin will return to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to contest the legendary Total 24 Hours of Spa (28-31 July) with Barwell Motorsport.

    Gavin is looking forward to adding a Spa win to his impressive endurance racing résumé, which already includes five 24 Hours of Le Mans class victories and Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring triumphs.

    However, the British ace is currently focused on launching a new young driver programme in Asia.

    Gavin is working with BAM Motorsport Promotions to mentor and develop young and aspiring racers as they take their first steps in motorsport, and the project commenced with a three-day test at the home of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, the Shanghai International Circuit, one week ago (26-28 February).

    Before finding success in GT racing, Gavin was a recipient of the coveted McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award and a winner of the British F3 Championship, famously reaching the cusp of F1.

    Consequently, he has a wealth of knowledge on driving techniques, car setup and mental and physical preparation to impart on his young protégés, and he will firstly support Australian teenager, Aidan Read, in his Formula Masters China Series endeavours with Eurasia Motorsport.

    From China, Gavin journeyed to Geneva for the world-famous motor show, where he unveiled the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport to an eager crowd of international journalists and motoring enthusiasts.

    Oliver says…

    On his Total 24 Hours of Spa drive…

    “I was delighted when I got the call from Barwell Motorsport asking me to join it in its Lamborghini for the Spa 24 Hours. I’ve known Mark Lemmer and Chris Needell of Barwell for some time and they have a great history at the Spa event in the Pro Am class, and I am very much looking forward to the chance of adding another 24-hour classic to my repertoire.”

    On the Chinese experience…

    “Believe it or not, this was my first foray into China and it was certainly a different experience compared to spending time at US racetracks! I feel I have a lot to offer to emerging young drivers and BAM Motorsport Promotions and I will be working on more of these projects from now on. I found the Eurasia Motorsport team to be very professional and Aidan Read, who I have mentored for a while now, is a very promising young talent with a lot of potential to unlock.”

    On the Corvette Grand Sport…

    “It’s always an honour to unveil a new Corvette, as it’s a brand that is a big part of me. The Grand Sport has the sporting pedigree of the ZO6 with practicalities for an everyday driver. A perfect car for both road and track.”

    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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    Giant-killers Gavin and Percat overcome adversity to finish strongly on Gold Coast

    IMG_5672Oliver Gavin and Nick Percat overcame adversity and stiff opposition to take the minnow Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team to a top six finish in the final leg of the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup, the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise (24-25 October).

    There were some question marks over the weather, as well as tyre and driver selection ahead of the first of two 300km races on Saturday (24 October), but the rain remained elusive and the entire field employed a typical Gold Coast strategy by installing their co-drivers and hard compound tyres early.

    A textbook start from 11th on the grid saw Gavin breach the top ten on the blind approach to the first chicane and some clean and patient driving while others tangled helped the Hire A Hubby-backed Briton scythe his way up to seventh and remain at the head of a prolonged three-way fight with Warren Luff and Steve Richards.

    The tight pack placed more of an emphasis on strategy and clean, efficient stops, therefore Gavin focused on managing tyre wear and fuel usage before clearing his minimum drive-time and pitting at the end of lap 34; LD Motorsport was struck by the five-time Le Mans winner’s ability to drive quickly while preserving the car and its tyres.

    The #222 Holden VF Commodore settled back into tenth position after the stops, but solid sectors from Percat saw him rise to eighth and draw in on a lively exchange between Rick Kelly, Garth Tander and Tim Slade.

    The LD Motorsport driver needed no second invitation to pass Slade and Kelly, quickly dispatching both just before a Safety Car deployment and holding sixth position to the end of the 102-lapper.

    “I had a great run in the opening phase of Saturday’s race,” said Gavin. “It was very eventful with a few cars coming together and turning each other around. I then had some pressure from Warren Luff but I could always keep a couple of car lengths between us and he never threatened to make a move. I was also conscious that I had to give the car over to Nick in good condition, knowing the race could only be won in the final 40-lap stint. It was a case of keeping out of trouble and I managed to bring the car into the pits in seventh, for Nick to climb to sixth after some intense battles.” 

    On Sunday (25 October), slower and wayward rivals meant Percat was unable to unlock his Holden’s full potential in qualifying, but Gavin progressed two spots from 15th on the grid on the opening tour of  that day’s race.

    Unfortunately, the #222 Holden was off-note when it developed a cracked exhaust header, which resulted in high fuel consumption and forced Gavin to adapt his driving style to counter a subsequent lack of power off the turns.

    The Englishman still possessed great speed.and did a stellar job to retain 13th prior to the driver-change on lap 34 and, while LD Motorsport gained in the Safety Car-induced pit stop cycle,  Percat continued to steadily work his way up the leaderboard to take the lead.

    All the while, conditions were becoming increasingly unbearable inside the car; temperatures soared, as the young Aussie had been unable to attach his helmet fan, his cool suit failed and hot exhaust gases were pumped into the footwell as a result of the cracked header, melting his boots.

    The latter phase of the 300km race was an economy run and despite LD Motorsport’s best efforts, a tiny splash of fuel was required to get Percat home, dashing all hopes of a podium.

    Nevertheless, Percat resolutely pushed on to take the finish in 15th and the race results meant the Anglo-Australian pairing concluded the Gold Coast 600 in ninth overall.

    Suffering from heat exhaustion, Percat could hardly stand upon returning to the pits and he was pulled from the car and immediately placed in an ice bath before being assessed by on-site medics.

    “The sixth place we achieved in Saturday’s race was the best result of our PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaign and we ended up ninth overall in the Gold Coast 600, which is a good result for Nick (Percat) and I,” said Gavin. “There were missed opportunities at Sandown and Bathurst through no fault of our own and I’m pleased that we finally managed to show our speed by taking that top six finish. Of course, we missed out on a potential podium due to the cracked header on Sunday, but we did lead the race and we have shown a lot of promise throughout the campaign. LD Motorsport is only a small team, but we punched above our weight by running with the big-hitters and all we needed was a break.

    “So much happened at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast and my knowledge and understanding of how to drive a V8 Supercar has grown immensely. I know how to get the best from myself and everything at my disposal and I feel I’m gaining some momentum, having been wide-eyed at some points during my first campaign, despite having so much experience in various racing categories. It feels more in my comfort zone.”

    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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    Oliver Gavin hoping for tides to turn in Surfers Paradise V8 Supercars finale

    c393365d-69b1-4e8a-bab8-ddc7e0e17a64Oliver Gavin hopes the tide will turn for him and teammate Nick Percat in the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise (24-26 October), after a luckless start to their 2015 Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup programme.

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    Gavin and Percat Bathurst challenge ends in disappointment after showing much promise

    Bathurst-2015Last year’s Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000 podium pairing, Oliver Gavin and Nick Percat, saw their 2015 challenge come to nothing, after a rash move from Will Davison abruptly halted a fantastic charge from 21st to fifth on the legendary Mount Panorama circuit (10-11 October). 

    Gavin and Percat have reunited for a second consecutive attack on the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup and the driver combination developed nicely through free practice and qualifying, the two cementing their bond and better understanding each other to a point where they were able to extract the best from their Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (LDM) team and Holden VF Commodore racecar.

    The package looked competitive for the 1000km race, as the #222 entry topped the timing screens in race trim during morning warm-up on Sunday (11 October) and the progress continued, as Percat brought the Hire A Hubby-liveried Holden through the field to 11th during a strong first stint.

    Gavin ran competitively with the frontrunners in a double stint behind the wheel that saw the Englishman move up to fifth, and the position looked assured, when all chances of success were pulled from under him as a rash move from Davison put Gavin in the wall on lap 56.

    Entering the Elbow at the top of ‘The Mountain’ – an atypical overtaking place – the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz driver stuck his nose up the inside of the LDM Holden and predictably collected Gavin’s rear, turning him around and backwards into the concrete wall.

    While the contact was relatively light and Gavin was able to maneuver his car back into the race, a lengthy pit stop, in which the LDM crew worked efficiently to repair the damage, followed.

    Percat brought the car back into the race two laps down with no chance of recovering the lost ground, despite running at the leaders’ pace for the remainder of the race in 19th.

    “It’s a real shame,” said Gavin. “It was great to be back in Australia with Nick (Percat) and the V8 Supercars; we work very well together and the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team had put in a lot of effort to give us a great car for the race and I think we were showing that with our progress.

    “I have had words with Will (Davison) and given him my thoughts on the move that ruined our race. It’s little consolation that the stewards agreed with my view of the incident, giving him a drive-through penalty, as we lost two laps and any chance of a result. I really enjoy working with Nick and the team and I’m looking forward to getting a result in Surfers Paradise in a couple of weeks.”

    The third and final round of the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup – the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 – takes place on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Queensland (24-26 October).

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

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    Oliver Gavin confirmed for Corvette Racing’s 2016 line-up ahead of Petit Le Mans and Bathurst 1000

    Corvette Racing PLM 2015

    It has been confirmed that five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Oliver Gavin, will remain with the factory Corvette Racing team for a 15th consecutive year in 2016.

    The announcement comes as Gavin readies himself for the concluding part of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (1-3 October) – as well as the second instalment of the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup – the Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000 (10-11 October) on the legendary Mount Panorama circuit.

    Gavin is synonymous with Corvette Racing; the Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire resident first joined the Pratt and Miller ranks in 2002 and it has been a lucrative partnership, as Gavin has gone on to win the world’s greatest motor race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, on no fewer than five occasions and achieve four American Le Mans Series (ALMS) titles with the beloved Velocity Yellow sportscars.

    Young American Tommy Milner, rapid Spaniard Antonio Garcia, and experienced head Jan Magnussen, will also remain within the team’s driver line-up for the duration of 2016, when Corvette Racing launches another attack on the United SportsCar Championship and Le Mans with the striking Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

    “I’m delighted to be back with Corvette Racing for my 15th year,” said Gavin. “It has been an amazing career with the team, and we’re looking to build on the last couple of seasons with the Corvette C7.R. We were able to win the biggest three events in endurance racing this year. The goal is to build on that and repeat that success next year.

    “The continuity of our driver line-up is fantastic. We have a great mix of youth and experience. It shows with the successes that we’ve had – the championships and race wins – that the core four drivers work well together. There is a transparency back and forth between all four of us – what we see on the track, what we’re working on engineering-wise, what our rivals are doing and so forth. We share all that information and it makes us better as a whole.”

    This comes just before the curtain falls on the 2015 TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) and it’s the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race on the undulating Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Georgia (1-3 October) that has the honour of hosting the much-anticipated season finale.

    Gavin will vie for his sixth Petit Le Mans win and, as the NAEC is still within reach for him and teammate Milner, there is a keen desire to return to victory lane this weekend.

    “I won my fifth Le Mans 24 Hours this year, and I’d very much like to win Petit Le Mans for the sixth time to close the 2015 season,” said Gavin. “This race is never easy. A lot of that is down to the layout of the track, which is very fast and challenging. There are a number of places where the elevation rises and falls, and the camber of the track falls away in certain spots.

    “The considerable traffic and racing into night only adds to the challenge. Traditionally Corvette Racing has excelled at endurance events – our record this year at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans is an example. The Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup is still very much in play for Tommy and I. It’s an important championship and an achievement we would gladly take.”

    Once the sun sets on the TUDOR Championship, Gavin’s bi-continental racing programme will take him across the Pacific Ocean for the Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000.

    The Hire A Hubby-backed Gavin embarked on his second consecutive full-time Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaign in last month’s Sandown 500 and heads back ‘down under’ for ‘Australia’s great race’ on the intimidating Mount Panorama racetrack.

    Gavin became the first international driver since Frank Biela in 1989 to finish on the podium on his V8 Supercars debut in last year’s edition of the Bathurst 1000 and it’s an achievement that ranks highly on the British ace’s résumé.

    “Last year’s Bathurst  1000 was an unbelievable race that had absolutely everything a fan could ever want,” said Gavin. “It was a high drama, nail-biter of a race where so many people had a shout of victory entering the final hour and Nick (Percat) ultimately produced an amazing couple of laps that featured some phenomenal passing moves to get us a podium, while we all worried about running out of fuel in the pits.

    “It was incredible to go to ‘The Mountain’, race a V8 Supercar and stand on the podium on my first attempt and it is without a doubt one of the highlights of my career, especially considering how competitive V8 Supercars is and how difficult it is to get on the grid in the first place.”

    Gavin added: “I’m pretty sure this year’s Bathurst 1000 won’t be as eventful, but I’m encouraged with how competitive the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden VF Commodore was at Sandown. We were behind the curve with car setup due to some technical issues, but, come Sunday’s race, we were very competitive, running well inside the top ten. We have a few little upgrades for Bathurst and I hope we can maximise our potential there. Nick and I are hugely motivated and I’ve stayed switched on to everything that’s going on down under so I don’t have much catching up to do when I arrive.”

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

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