It is exactly 20 years since a World Championship race has taken place at the scenic Paul Ricard track at Le Castellet in southern France, and Olly can remember it well.
“As a teenager I used to love watching the French Grands Prix when they took place at the Paul Ricard track,” he remembers. “It hardly seems possible that it was 20 years ago I saw Senna, Mansell and Prost racing there. Now we’re going back to a very different layout with another generation of cars and drivers…hopefully to recreate some of the fantastically exciting races that thrilled so many people and to help the track celebrate its 40th anniversary.”
Oliver will be competing in the fourth round of the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship for Mad Croc Racing, driving the Patrick Selleslagh-prepared Corvette C6.R with Finland’s Pertti Kuismanen. Having missed the last round in Brno, Czech Republic due to a clashing ALMS round, Olly is looking forward to returning to European racing action.
“I’ve tested at Ricard now three times but I’ve not raced there yet. It’s a great place to be, not only because it’s in an impressive part of southern France but also thanks to the massive investment and development in recent years.”
The 37-year-old continues, “The Corvette seems to perform well on this track, winning there in 2006 and again last year. It’s a fun circuit but challenging, with lots of different combinations of corners that you need to be fully committed with to get a good lap time. There are some very slow speed corners which are a little frustrating but overall I’m looking forward to it and getting back with Patrick’s SRT team and Mad Croc.
“At Brno it seemed that the balance of performance was against the Corvettes and hopefully there’ve been some adjustments now which will equalise things more. I hope there’ll be another exciting race like we had at Silverstone.”
All the latest action can be followed online at www.gt1world.com including live streaming of the two 60-minute races from the Paul Ricard HTTT track in the south of France. Practice and pre-qualifying take place on Friday, 2nd July and the first of the two one-hour races, the qualifying race, takes place at 5:30pm (CET) on Saturday. The Championship race takes place on Sunday, 4th July at 2:15 pm.