Category Archives: United SportsCar Championship

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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The Six Hours of the Glen news and views from Oliver Gavin

sm_image2_sizedThe story so far

• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner retain the championship lead by eight points after finishing fourth at Watkins Glen
• Milner qualified the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in the sixth position Saturday after a lap of 1:42.794 (119.0 mph) at the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course
• Milner took the first stint in what was a very tight battle between the GTLM cars, running between sixth to eighth.
• Gavin then completed a double-stint and then alternating single stints on to the chequered flag
• Final stop key to finishing in fourth position based on fuel strategy and the position felt ‘like a win’ for Gavin
• Gavin looking forward to this weekend’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park but expects a tight battle

Gavin says…

On the Watkins Glen race
“It was a flat-out battle with all our competition. It boiled down to smart strategy, great pit work and strong, fast driving. The final pitstop was executed perfectly by all the crew and put us back out in P5. Tommy then pulled off a great move to pass the Ferrari going into the Bus Stop. He then drove strongly to lock in fourth place which for us today is like a win. If someone had offered us fourth at the start of the day with our starting position and the pace compared to our competitors… Yes, it is like a win.

“We are still leading in the Driver’s Championship. We’ve extended in the Manufacturer’s Championship for Chevrolet, which is great. I really don’t think we could have asked for any more. A great job by everyone here at Corvette Racing – a real team effort.”

On the championship battle
“We now lead the championship by eight points from our old Corvette Racing teammates Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe who are now driving for Ford. The rest of the season will be a full-on battle with these guys as well as many others.
“We also still lead the North American Endurance Cup, but only by one point. Chevrolet also still lead the Manufacturer standings by seven points over Porsche. The goal is to consolidate our championship lead at CTMP (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) and then hopefully we’ll be able to move forward from our current situation.”

On the quick turnaround to the next race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
“The team are staying at Watkins Glen for a day extra to prepare the cars for CTMP. Our car needs a little cosmetic work after the six-hour battle but structurally it’s fine. The sister car will need some extra work, it had a troubled race with a number of electrical gremlins.”

Looking forward to racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
“We go from one of the best circuits in the USA to the best track in Canada. Everyone enjoys the challenge of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s fast, flowing and very challenging. We will need to work just as hard to extract as many points from the weekend as we did at Watkins Glen as our competition will be just as strong.”

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-Six Hours of the Glen news and views from Oliver Gavin

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  • Oliver Gavin heads to The Six Hours of the Glen in the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship (30 June – 3 July)
  • Gavin took some time out after Le Mans to visit the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner lead the GTLM Championship with 130 points
  • The #4 Corvette Racing pairing hold a 12-point lead over Porsche North America with four rounds complete.

    Gavin says…

    On his short break following Le Mans

    “I spent a good few days with my family, relaxing and trying to catch up on lost sleep from the Le Mans week. It’s only when you get home that you realise how much you’ve put into the biggest race of the year.

    “Last Friday I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to drive the C7.R race car up the hill. It’s such an amazing event and it was fantastic to drive the car up past the house. Over the weekend it was also great to see my boss Mark Reuss drive the race car.”

    On the next round at Watkins Glen

    “I’m really looking forward to going back to Watkins Glen, I always enjoy driving there and the weather is looking good at the moment, unlike last year. The Six Hours of the Glen is a special event, a good mix of flat out racing, strategy and fuel management.

    “For two drivers it can be pretty physical, especially as they’ve resurfaced the track and all the reports are that the circuit is significantly quicker with higher grip level and so G-loads.”

    On the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R post Le Mans

    “We will revert back to our sprint package (higher downforce) on the C7.R. The car has been stripped down and fully rebuilt after the Le Mans accident. The guys having been working hard and we are ready!”

    On the championship battle

    “Tommy and I are ready to get back to the battle and the fight in the GTLM class of the WeatherTech championship. The Corvette C7.R ran strongly at this race last year, the car was quick in most conditions. We are still leading the championship and looking to take the fight to everyone else in our class.”

    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-Monterey Grand Prix news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPN8498HEADLINES

  • Seventh place for Oliver Gavin brings podium run to an end
  • Pit stop penalty ruins any chance of a top three finish
  • Championship lead remains intact as Gavin’s closest rivals fail to capitalise

    The story of the race…

  • Chevrolet Corvette C7.R struggles for pace against Ferrari and Ford, as the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship’s Balance of Performance takes its toll
  • Tommy Milner qualifies the #4 Corvette fifth
  • Gavin takes over from Milner after 40 minutes of racing, taking advantage of a full-course yellow
  • A long second stop on lap 48 spoils Gavin’s race; his car’s air jacks fail to release and the #4 Corvette’s wheels spin up before grounding and engaging gear
  • The pit incident results in a drive-through penalty, which puts the #4 Corvette a lap down on the main pack
  • Gavin battles back past the #911 Porsche, the BMWs and into P7 to salvage some points.

    Gavin says…

    On breaking his podium run…

    “The Continental Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca was a tough race for us in many ways. We worked hard on getting a good balance on the new Michelin ‘Le Mans-spec’ tyres at Laguna, which has historically been a battle. In the last stint, things were coming together and I was the fastest car on-track, passing a Porsche and two BMWs and reeling in the Ford and the Ferrari. I think with another couple of laps, seventh could have been fifth.”

    On the problematic second pit stop…

    “Unfortunately, we had a problem with the air jack wand being a little too slow to release. Our stops were heavily choreographed and I was watching the Crew Chief, Brian, and the Wand Man and anticipating the moment to release the clutch and leave the pit box. The momentary pause in the car coming down off the jacks meant the wheels were spinning while the car was in the air and that is against the rules.”

    On the objectives for the next round of the championship…

    “We salvaged some points from the Monterey Grand Prix and we’ve got some more testing on the latest Michelin tyres at Elkhart Lake in readiness for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Hopefully we can get them to work better on our front-engined Corvette, as they seemed to favour the mid-engined Fords and Ferraris at Laguna Seca. We still have the lead in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship and consistent points finishes are key if we are to maintain that advantage. That will be our goal.”

    On a busy month of May…

    “We’ve got a bit of a busy month ahead. Testing will be followed by some General Motors PR events in Frankfurt and then I will venture into Asia to continue with my young driver development programme. The first stop will be Shanghai with formula cars and then I’ll be dealing with LMP3 cars in the new ACO Sprint Series in Kuala Lumpur, before returning to the UK. I will be home for three days!”

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

    sm_3RPN7329

    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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