Oliver Gavin is focused on bettering the third-place finish he achieved in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the second instalment of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida (18-21 March).
Gavin achieved Corvette Racing’s first victory at Sebring back in 2002 while teamed with Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell in the American Le Mans Series’ (ALMS) GTS division and has since achieved four additional race wins at the classic 3.74mile Floridian track, which encompasses 17 turns and preserves the essence of the original circuit.
The Briton – fourth on the all-time Sebring winners list, along with Dindo Capello, Hans Stuck and Lucas Luhr – has accrued countless other high-profile successes during a prolific sportscar racing career with the Corvette Racing team and currently stands as a four-time ALMS Champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.
And having come agonisingly close to repeating past glories at Daytona in January and then completed a productive, yet eventful General Motors test at Sebring with the striking Corvette C7.R last week (9-10 March), Gavin believes that victory lane is a realistic target for him and his teammates, Jan Magnussen and Simon Pagenaud.
“Sebring is always a physical race,” said Gavin. “The track is bumpy and aggressive, it’s usually very hot and that can have an impact on the car, drivers and crew. Sebring gives everything a thorough workout so it’s particularly good for testing the lifespan of the car’s mechanicals. The C7.R stood up to the rigours of the Floridian track and I’m reasonably confident that we’ll be competitive. It’s the one race where you come out of it feeling beaten up – the circuit really takes it out of you and it’s one of the most physical circuits that anyone could ever drive. It’s something you really have to be prepared for.
“That first Corvette Racing victory at Sebring in 2002 was huge. It was my first year with Corvette Racing and it was really a honeymoon period with the team because it seemed as though we could do no wrong. To get that first win with Corvette at Sebring was phenomenal and, to then win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, made it a pretty special year.”
The 47-car entry will take the start of the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at 10.40am EST on Saturday (21 March).