Category Archives: United SportsCar Championship

Oliver Gavin aims for repeat 12 Hours of Sebring victory

2RPN2260_v2Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler are all set for this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring, (March 15 – 18, 2017) seeking a repeat of last year’s victory that helped pave the way to GTLM championship success.

Last time out, at the Daytona 24 Hours, Gavin and the team recovered from contact with a rival to finish in ninth position. This weekend, expectations are high as the series reconvenes for round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at a venue where the team and Gavin have a winning track record.

Thoughts on competing at the 12 Hours of Sebring

“This is one of the biggest races of the year for us and we as a team have had ten class wins since 2002 and I’ve won five times, so naturally I am keen to add to that tally if at all possible. We’re also again supported by Mobil 1 and all of our victories have come with them, so that’s a really nice stat!”

And the challenge of the circuit and expectations for race day

“The race is again very physical and it’s a hard, aggressive race with no margin for error as it’s a circuit that will really punish you.

“The weather doesn’t look to be an issue unlike last year where rain and bad weather really effected things. It will be nice to have a rain-free event this year.”

Preparations ahead of the race weekend

“We’ve done two tests already this year at Sebring and they both went well. Marcel had a decent amount of time in the car adapting to the higher levels of downforce than we had at Daytona. So, we’re all ready to go, we’ve worked hard on the race programme and the strategy.”

Away from the track, at the Geneva Motor Show

“It was great to be at the Geneva Motor Show representing Chevrolet and Corvette. As the brand ambassador, it was nice to meet with the European dealers and join them for dinner on the Wednesday night. It was also really pleasing to see how much enthusiasm and support there is for Corvette with many questions about the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the cornerstone of the season.”

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Oliver Gavin endures tough 24 Hours of Daytona

Corvette Racing; Rolex 24 at Daytona; Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida; January 28-29, 2017; C7.R #3 driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, and Mike Rockenfeller; C7.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fassler (Richard Prince/Chevrolet photo).

It proved to be a difficult day in the office for Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing this weekend (28-29 January, 2017) in the Rolex 24H at Daytona.

Having won the event last year in dramatic style, Gavin and teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler had to settle for a ninth-place finish on a weekend where an incident and a mechanical issue effectively ended the charge for a repeat victory.

·          Oliver Gavin finished Rolex 24H ninth in the GTLM class and 16th overall

·          After qualifying ninth, Gavin took the first stint despite suffering from the flu’

·          The C7.R ran competitively on the lead lap until a collision with a Ford GT after seven hours

·          The #4 team lost 21 laps whilst repairs were carried out

·          Continuous rain for 12 hours from 8pm made the racing treacherous

·          There was an unprecedented seven hours under full course yellow

Olly says…

Key to the race was contact and the breakage of the right-rear control arm…

“Ultimately our race was shaped by the contact from the #69 when Marcel was behind the wheel. We lost a lot of time but we managed to make up five laps that were lost from making the repairs. However, it was far too big a deficit and we were still 16 laps back, finishing ninth.

“At the end, the racing was fantastic and more than anything we wanted to be in that battle at the front just like last year. It looked like a lot of fun!”

After qualifying in P9, it looked to be a good start to the 24-hour race

“Yes, the first stint went well. The first lap, as always here, was eventful! You always have to weigh up how much risk to take to grab a spot from a competitor and it worked out for me and I gained a couple of places.

“From then on it was very close racing with the Ford and Porsche, a lot of fun. I got out after a single stint due to being a little under the weather. I was ill Friday, better Saturday but still fighting it off. And so it was over to Tommy and Marcel after that first stint…”

Cold and wet conditions made this an unusual event for Daytona

“My last stint in the race was okay. I was finally back on dry tyres after hours and hours on rains. The car felt good and we had pretty good pace, but like the sister car, we were just missing a little to the leaders.

“It was certainly one of the toughest 24 hour races for me. From being unwell to then the weather on early Sunday morning… Le Mans 2001 was the last time I experienced conditions as treacherous over so many hours.”

Not the dream result but a strong showing from the Corvette Racing

“We may not have had the fastest car but Corvette Racing once again showed their strengths in the pits.

““For the final stop of the race, the #3 car came in the pits in fourth position and was comfortably in the lead at the pit exit. Amazing pit work. A great job throughout the race by all at Corvette Racing.”

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Oliver Gavin confirmed with Corvette Racing for the 2017 season

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With no less than 48 wins with Corvette Racing since 2002, Oliver Gavin will again compete alongside Tommy Milner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.

2016 proved to be a most-successful season for Gavin with he and teammate Milner notched up the brand’s 100th GTML victory on the way to his fifth title with the team.  Naturally he is looking forward to getting back to the track and competing for more success…

On your 16th season with Corvette Racing?

“It’s definitely an honour to be back for another season. I started with Corvette Racing in 2002, so driving in 2017 and representing Corvette Racing for another full season is a huge honour and I’m really looking forward to being back on track at Daytona – the first race of the season – and seeing where we are.

“It’s great to be back with Tommy for what will be our sixth year together. We’ve had some fantastic races, won championships, and we have some great moments together, I’m sure we’ll add to those in 2017.”

A week to celebrate with home recognition from the BRDC with the Fairfield Trophy

“I’m delighted with the BRDC Fairfield Trophy I collected Monday at the awards lunch. I’m a proud member of the BRDC and to be recognised by them when I spend so much time racing in the US is very special – great to know that my competition is not cut off from the UK and Europe –  so I’m delighted to be recognised this year for my achievements.

“It was also a personal pleasure to be presented by six-time Gold Olympic Cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy. Sharing a stage with such a legend who has waved the flag and achieved so much for our country, was very special…”

With 48 wins, there must be one or two that stands out above the others?

“There’s so many races and so many wins that are special. The freshest and most spectacular was the 2016 Daytona 24hrs. That was an intense, hard fought battle with our teammates. Unreal finish.

“Le Mans 24hrs in 2006 was an exceptional race as it was hot and so tough against our rivals in GT1. The C6.R was a great car that year and I teamed up with Jan Magnussen and Olivier Beretta for the extremely intense race-long battle against the Astons. It was really a great race for Corvette Racing and it was our third in a row, so that was very satisfying.”

On 2016 and chances for 2017 at the big races at Daytona and Le Mans?

“We were not really sure how competitive we would be in 2016 against very tough competition, but on balance over the year in the IMSA championship the C7.R had strong performance. In saying that, Le Mans was very very hard for us. The Balance of Performance is a necessary evil – manufacturers, officials, fans and drivers have to accept that sometimes things work out, sometimes not. You always need to look at the year as a whole and more often than not, in 2016, IMSA got the balance correct.

“Balance of Performance especially comes into focus at Daytona and Le Mans as they’re such long races and the effect is magnified over the 24 hours, so in 2017 we come back with a similar package, albeit with slightly varying tyre compounds, so we will have to wait and see how it all plays out in the big events.”

Is there one thing in particular you would like to tick off your ‘done’ list for 2017?

“With 48 wins, I’m obviously very close to an important milestone and that – along with the championship – is the target and if I could get there it would be amazing. We’re always chasing the wins, especially at the big events. Over a 12-month period in 2015/16 we won Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Very special.

“One that seems to have got away is COTA (Circuit of the Americas). It’s just never clicked or we’ve had bad luck. This year the race is in May instead of late summer, so perhaps that will bring a change of fortune and I can get that monkey off my back.

“Sometimes as hard as you try, races can pick you. Road America this year is a classic example. The way things unfolded in those final laps was amazing. That race certainly picked us for the win!”

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2016 CHAMPION! – News and views from Oliver Gavin

Corvette Racing Petit Le Mans 2016The story of the Petit Le Mans weekend

  • Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta on Saturday 1 October, 2016
  • Sharing driving duties in the ten-hour classic with both Milner and Marcel Fassler, Gavin needed to finish seventh or better to claim the title and duly went four places better with a third place
  • Gavin, Milner and Chevrolet also sweep Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Gavin says:

Going down to the wire and winning the championship

“It’s fantastic to clinch the championship after a long, intense and hard fought season against really strong competition; so very satisfying. Yesterday we claimed every championship we possibly could, the Manufacturers for Chevrolet, the Team for Corvette Racing, The drivers for Tommy and I, as well as the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. I call that a good day!”

On starting seventh and working through the field

“We knew coming into the weekend we had an 11-point buffer in the championship and we only needed to finish seventh to clinch the title. The track was very different from when we tested a month ago and that had us a little concerned at the start of the weekend but we worked away with the car. Qualifying was super-close and Tommy did an ace job to get within three-tenths of pole, we ended up seventh. We knew we had a good race car and that we are also good at tuning the car during the race to get us into a good performance window. We knew if we could just do our usual deal and execute, that we’d be in a good spot to clinch the championship.

“In the race our car was tricky and edgy in the first stint but then we made some changes and Tommy did an excellent job to work up the order. When he handed it over to me we were running third.  The #67 Ford started fast and was running very strongly with Richard Westbrook at the wheel but ran into trouble three hours in.

“Then the mindset changed slightly for us. It went from being cautious in traffic and making high-percentage moves to going all out for the win. We continued to adjust the car and set up and I passed the Ferrari for the lead just before the four-hour mark, pulling out a ten second lead.”

Before taking the podium and title at Petit Le Mans

“Our race ebbed and flowed for the next few hours. There was a long caution period when the track had to be patched up, Marcel was in the car. He continued after that but then had a small off at T1 and got quite a lot of grass in the radiator. We lost some time but we were still in the hunt.

“It came down to a straight fight between the #62 Ferrari, #66 Ford and us for the win. The Ferrari had a little too much pace and got the win. The #66 and I fought it out for the last two spots on the podium. We battled for the last seven laps, very close, I did get by the #66 but then we had contact and I ended up off track. I struggled to clean my tyres up after that and the #66 got away.

“Third was still a good result and capped our season off nicely.”

Credit to the Chevrolet Corvette team and thanks to the crew for the hard work and dedication

“Corvette Racing has done an amazing job all year and there have been many stand out performances by lots of different people. My teammate Tommy has driven fantastically all year, Chuck and Reed (My Engineers) have made some fantastic calls in the races both with the car and the strategy.

“The pitstops have been awesome all year, led by Brian Hoye (Crew Chief). These stops have literally turned a number of the races from being a fifth-sixth place to a podium or a win! World class.”

And so to the off season…

“Well there will be the usual off season testing and maybe a small holiday with my family. There will be some events with Chevrolet as well, both in Europe and the USA. Before I know it It’ll will be January, I’ll be on the plane to the Daytona 24H test and the 2017 season will be GO!”

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News and views from Oliver Gavin following COTA and the title battle

Corvette Racing COTA 2016The story of the race weekend

• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner enjoyed a seven-point advantage ahead of Saturday’s (17 September, 2016) Lone Star Le Mans race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas
• A fifth place finish proved to be a solid result for the title leaders as they extend the gap to 11 points ahead of the finale at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta
• Gavin took the first stint from sixth position on the grid before handing over to Milner who had to battle some cockpit issues and handling imbalances to get a fifth place finish.
• With the championship within reach, the next stop is Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans
• Gavin and Milner need a seventh place finish at Petit Le Mans to claim the title.

Gavin says:

A massive result for the championship standings…
“I started sixth, got up to fifth at turn one but around 7-8 laps into the race my car had some brake issues and it was sluggish and slow across the centre of the corners. I let Jan (Magnussen) by to see if he could put some pressure on the #67 (leading championship rival).

“Things were then neutralised at the first safety car period and everyone in our class pitted. I handed off to Tommy. The guys at Corvette Racing did a great job and got us out in front of the #67. Tommy then held firm against a tough challenge from the #67 as the two cars came into turn 11 just before the halfway point.

“The two cars came together as Milner defended his position. Tommy emerged unscathed while the #67 car lost 12 laps due to damage. Tommy then finished off the race but had to battle with some issues inside the cockpit and intense pressure from the #25.

“We came over the line fifth, with some luck on our side, netting some very valuable points for the championship. At this point in the year it’s all about the championship table and you’ll take the points however they come…”

The race at COTA and setup changes…
“COTA has been pretty hard on Tommy and I over the last few years. The race weekend was shaping up to be difficult one and the championship lead was in danger of being surrendered. We kept working away at it with the car and our strategy for the race and against the odds we came away with a bigger points lead than before the weekend.

“As has been the way all year, Corvette Racing has worked tirelessly to give us the best car possible and we have never given up.”

And so to the big one…. Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with Marcel Fassler joining the #4 line-up…
“Petit Le Mans is always a fantastic event but a very tough one to win. We’ve been strong there in the past and the team know the 10-hour race inside out.

“We’ve also recently had a two-day test there that went quite well. We are prepared, ready to go and in a positive frame of mind. We’ll be joined again by our good friend and ace enduro driver Marcel Fassler.

“He was in COTA this last weekend and it was good to catch up with him. So far this year we’ve done two races together with Marcel – Daytona 24H and Sebring 12H – and won both! Let’s hope we can make it three out of three and finish the season with another win at Petit!”

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News and views from Oliver Gavin ahead of Austin, Texas

20160618_lm-8183-ctlThe story ahead of the race weekend

• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner head to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas this coming weekend (17 September, 2016) for the Lone Star Le Mans race
• Gavin and Milner lead the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship by seven points
• Gavin has been busy since the last race with some driver coaching for Aidan Read in Malaysia
• He also took the opportunity to drive some classic racing machinery at the Goodwood Revival.

Gavin says:

A busy schedule since the last race at VIR with some driver coaching…
“I’ve been out in Sepang, Malaysia mentoring and coaching young Aidan Read. Aidan has grown a lot as a driver over the year and the last race weekend in Sepang was a great example of that. He won all three races in both wet and dry conditions, so delighted for him. It was a great way to bounce back after being struck down by illness at the previous round of the championship.”

A fantastic weekend at the Goodwood Revival…
“I’ve also been racing and competing at the Goodwood Revival. This is a wonderful weekend at an amazing race track and facility. The machinery that’s raced and put on display is quite remarkable. Whether that’s World War II fighter planes or some of the most exotic one off sports cars from the 1950’s and 60’s. My wife Helen and I had a great weekend.

“I drove an Austin A35 in the St Mary’s Trophy race on Saturday afternoon, finishing seventh in tricky wet conditions.

“On Sunday I was entered into the headline race of the weekend, the one-hour two driver RAC TT for 1960’s sports cars. I was sharing a car with Craig Davies, a passionate and skilled historic racer who’d entered a 1965 Corvette StingRay.

“Craig started the race and marched up the order, getting us up into the top ten before handing it over to me at around 25-minute mark. Unfortunately, as soon as I left the pits the car developed a transmission problem and I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish. I pitted a couple of laps later. It was a great shame as the 600bhp StingRay had been performing fantastically… Next year maybe!”

Heading back to the US for the penultimate round of the championship at COTA…
“Switching gears now and I’m heading back to the USA and the next round of the WeatherTech championship at COTA, Austin, Texas. It’s usually very hot and humid for this event but the weather can sometimes surprise you with big and heavy storms.”

How the Corvette C7.R is expected to handle on this super-fast circuit…
“COTA is quite unique for the USA. It’s the newest facility we race at in our championship. It has a whole series of fast sweeping turns that call for a lot of aerodynamic downforce but then there are a couple of very long straights with very slow corners at the either end, so straight line speed is also important. It’s a balancing act and somewhat a compromise on the chassis-car setup.”

On leading the championship by a slender margin…
“It’s getting down to the business end of the year. We have a seven-point lead going into this weekend and our focus is on scoring as many points as possible. As it’s been with our class all year, the competition will be intense and any error – or bad luck – will see you sliding down the order. Once again Tommy, I and all at Corvette Racing will need to be on the top of our game.”

Planning and preparation by the Corvette Racing Team…
“Our test at Atlanta last month did help us unlock some car speed at VIR, we hope to be able to carry those findings over to COTA and have a strong run. We are ready, motivated and looking forward to the challenge this weekend brings!”

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News and views from Oliver Gavin from Virginia International Raceway

sm_3RXP3253-(1)The story of the weekend

  • Corvette Racing aced the front-row of the grid on Saturday in qualifying
  • Track conditions at Virginia International Raceway changed significantly following heavy rain making race-day tough for Oliver Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner
  • A tough race with an off for both Milner and Gavin, the latter ending the day after going off on fluids dropped by another car
  • Gavin and Milner however retain their championship lead, with a seven-point cushion heading to Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Texas on 17 September.

    Gavin says:

    On the result and the championship challenge heading to COTA

    “Tommy and I are both disappointed in how the race turned out for us today. It unravelled for us pretty much right from the start. My accident was the end of a very difficult day and very unfortunate with the fluid on the circuit, but hopefully this will be the only major blip in our season and we’ll bounce back strongly at the next round in COTA.

    “The one major positive from the weekend was the victory for the sister #3 car. Jan (Magnussen) and Antonio (Garcia) have had some rough luck this year and for them to finally get a victory is great for the whole team. It also extends Chevrolet’s lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Tommy and I still hold the lead in the drivers’ championship by seven points, so that is really the silver-lining.

    It was a tough race for us from the get-go

    “It was hot and humid all weekend but the new surface at VIR, ruberred in well through Friday and Saturday morning providing us with lots of grip. Then there was a massive rain storm on Saturday afternoon and that washed that away and the C7.R was edgy and nervous in Sunday morning warm-up.

    “We started the race second after Jan and Tommy had driven excellently in qualifying to lock out the front row for Corvette Racing. In the race, Tommy got pushed wide at the first turn and lost a couple of spots. He then lost out to one of the BMW’s before passing a Porsche for fifth before having an off-track moment at turn ten.

    “We then had to pit to clear the radiator as it was filled with grass and we had to stop any potential overheating, but more important we were now out of sync and had to make an extra stop for fuel than out rivals. Unfortunately, during the stop – in haste to get the car back out on track – too many crew members were working on the car. We then had to serve a drive-through penalty for this.

    “We struggled a bit with setup and I got in the car with an hour remaining and (Engineer) Chuck (Houghton) made some changes to the car and this had a had a positive influence on the balance and the speed of the car.”

    On the off that curtailed the running of the #4 Corvette

    “It was all going well after the earlier problems as I set the fastest lap 20 laps into my stint before the final stop. Then it went wrong under braking for the final corner as the car just snapped sideways on me. I was on the grass in a heartbeat. The car then slid down the grass and impacted hard into the tyre wall.

    “Unbeknown to me, other drivers had just had reported fluid down at the final corner, but that was too late for me as I slid off the road. The C7.R showed how well built and strong it is, as I was even able to make it back to the pits. Once back at the pit box the team made the call that the car couldn’t be made race ready in the time left, so that was that.”

    Looking ahead to COTA

    “What goes around, comes around. We have had a tough weekend and others will in the remaining rounds. We’ll just move on from this and look forward to racing in Austin and making sure that we make the most of the opportunities that come our way.”

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

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    Road America victory, news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPN1054v2The story of the weekend

    • Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner took victory at Road America (7 August, 2016).

    • The win follows on from Corvette Racing celebrating its 100th victory last time out at Lime Rock

    • Milner ran in fifth position in the closing stages before final caution. With five minutes to go the race restart and he battled through to take a remarkable win

    • This is Gavin’s fourth victory at Road America and the win extends his championship advantage to 13 points with three rounds remaining

    Gavin says…

    Those final few laps
    “Those Crazy final laps. When the caution came out with 12 minutes to go we thought the race was over, little did we know.

    “At the restart it was frantic and everyone seemed to press the self-destruct button. Tommy kept his cool, made the smart moves and worked his way up the order, we all watched on in amazement!

    “The volume got louder and louder in the Corvette Racing pit and then when Tommy passed Richard for the lead everyone went crazy! A fantastic result.”

    A big turnaround following qualifying
    “We chased the setup most of the weekend. The car had a lot of oversteer in qualifying and also at the start of the race. The key point for our car was during the last pitstop.

    “Chuck Houghton took the decision to make a pretty big aero change, the pressure was on the crew to execute this in a very short time frame but once again they did an immense job.

    “The change transformed the car and Tommy was then able to attack and take the race to all our competitors. Once again, great teamwork.”

    A great result on a sad weekend

    “The result this weekend has helped lift the mood in the Gavin house. The break-in happened at the start of the race weekend, it’s a horrible experience. I’m just happy that my family is safe and well. I’m now heading home to straighten things out.”

    The title chase with just three rounds remaining
    “With 30 minutes to go in the race the #67 car was leading and we were sixth. We were effectively tied on points at that moment. To then finish the way we did is huge for the title race for Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and Tommy and I.

    “We’re now down to the last three races and we have a 13-point lead. It really is between the #67 and the #4, no one else is in touching distance. We haven’t always been the fastest but we’ve done the basics well, we’ve been smart and executed to the maximum. We have to keep doing what we are doing and keep the pressure up.

    “If this race shows one thing, it’s that you should never give up!”

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

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    Lime Rock Victory, news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_gavin_win2The story of the weekend

    • Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner led home a one-two Victory in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock (23 July, 2016).

    • The result marks the 100th win for Corvette Racing, the 60th one-two result and 75th victory with Michelin Tyres

    • Gavin crossed the finish line 0.975 seconds ahead of teammate Antonio Garcia

    • Gavin and Milner to increase their lead in the GTLM Driver’s Championship to ten points

    Gavin says…

    On the 100th Victory for Corvette Racing…
    “This is a huge achievement for the team. I’ve been part of the Corvette Racing program since 2002 and I’ve experienced some amazing wins with this fantastic team, the victory on Saturday was one of those very special moments.”

    On the race and the narrow margins…
    “Lime Rock always throws up a big challenge, the race on Saturday was no different. It was nose to tail, wheel to wheel… at points I was literally pushing Giancarlo (Ferrari) and Ryan (Ford) was doing the same to me! With a track that’s only 1.5 miles long and with 32 cars competing intensely for positions, this is inevitable. Once again it came down to having great stops, good strategy, being smart and racing hard. It was close with Antonio at the end but I had just enough in reserve to get us over the line. Very satisfying way to get the teams 100th win and 60th one-two finish.

    The title chase with just four rounds to go
    “With four rounds to go it’s great to have extended the lead to ten points over the 67 car. It really looks like a two horse race between us now and I’m sure it will be close all the way to the end of the season. Having our sister car in between us and them at the finish on Saturday could make all the difference at the end of the year…”

    On the next race at Spa Francorchamps…
    “Switching gears for me now. Spa 24hrs with Barwell Motorsport will be a big challenge. It’s the world’s biggest GT3 24hr race and the competition will be intense. The team are well prepared with a strong car and driver line up. I’m really looking forward to 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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    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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