Electrical Woes in the Utah Desert

Fortune decided not to smile on Britain’s Oliver Gavin today in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series.  An electrical problem effectively put paid to what might have been a great result to follow up on round three’s podium finish in Laguna Seca.

After the early race set back the No. 4 Corvette pitted for fuel, tires, and a driver change as Oliver Gavin replaced Beretta. Gavin then ran to the finish on one set of Michelin tires, turning laps as fast as the leaders, but the deficit was too great to make up.

“We worked on the car overnight and Chuck Houghton and Doug Louth really went over the numbers and looked at a lot of the things we’d tried, and they came up with a good set up for today.” said Oliver.  “The car was a lot better in the race than it had been all weekend. 

“But after the electrical failure on the second lap, we were never really going to have a chance to get any decent points today.  It’s such a highly competitive class that all we could do was just run around and get a tenth place finish and almost use it as a bit of a test session.”

With air temperature climb at 90 degrees plus (+34C) and the track sizzling at more than 112 (44 C) degrees, heat was an issue which affect almost everyone in today’s race at Miller Motorsports Park, just outside Salt Lake City.  “It’s been pretty warm today and one of the things our car has got is an excellent AC unit developed by GM,” Olly continued.  “We get that nice cool air flowing into our helmets and onto our backs through the seat so that certainly helps keep us in pretty good condition in the car.  We also have a good drinks system in the car so we can have nice cool water. 

“The physical side of things weren’t too bad but the luck just wasn’t with us and it seems that when things run cleanly and smoothly for us we can finish on the podium.  But if we have any slight hiccup we are a long way down and that’s a mark of how competitive the GT category is.  It’s really frustrating as we know the speed is in the car at most places we go to, but any small mistake, whether it’s a part failing, a driver mistake , a pit stop or whatever, is seriously punished in this series and this class.   We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and work a bit harder to cut out the mistakes as they are destroying our season.”

Olly’s next race will be round 5 of the American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock in Connecticut on Saturday, 24th July.

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