The No. 4 Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook finished 10th in the last ever ALMS race, Petit Le Mans, at Road Atlanta last weekend, after having endured two lengthy stops to replace a pair of alternator belts. The result meant that Olly and Tommy’s final placing in the GT Drivers’ classification was 3rd, behind their Championship-winning team mates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia and BMW’s Dirk Muller.
In what was also the C6.R’s last race before the introduction of the new Corvette C7.R in January, Olly made a great start and moved from seventh to second in the first two laps. By the time they got to 30 minutes into the 1000 Mile or maximum 10-hour race, the car’s telemetry was showing that the alternator was not charging the battery.
Olly brought the car in for fuel, tires and a driver change to Tommy Milner along with a belt replacement but that proved to be faulty and a further pit stop was required on the next lap. This time the belt functioned properly and the car continued with the battery fully charging but the trio was six laps down and the No.4’s challenge for success was over.
They then set about doing all possible to help the No.3 car to wrap up the Drivers’ title – to add to the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles already claimed by Corvette Racing.
Olly commented after the race: “These last few races have been extremely difficult and tough for usbut today is all about the No. 3 car. Antonio and Jan deserve this championship thoroughly. They bounced back from a heart-breaking Sebring and since then they have driven brilliantly. They had great strategy and pit stops, they executed a great race every weekend, and scored points every time they were allowed to. Full and hearty congratulations to them.
“For Tommy and I, the 2013 season can’t come to an end soon enough. It seemed like every which way we turned, things were not going right for us. After such a great start in Sebring, our luck just ran out as the season progressed. I’m just now focused on 2014 with the new car and hitting the ground running at Daytona. We had two really big highlights – winning at Sebring and in Canada was fantastic but the rest of it has been under par to say the least.”
Tommy – as Olly’s team mate and equal 3rd-place finisher in the classification – added: “At the end of the day, we obviously would have loved to finish better but Antonio and Jan got their championship, which is fantastic. We’re team champions and manufacturer champions just like last year which is a great send-off for the C6.R, and we’re looking forward to the C7.R now.
“It was a rough day for us –that was our season in a nutshell. There were just little problems that sometimes can be easily fixed and solved. But this year, every little thing cost us a lot of time. All in all, and looking back on the season it was a great one again. The car was fantastic and it’s always a pleasure working with the guys at Corvette Racing.”
Corvette Racing will open the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the Corvette C7.R race car at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26.