Gear shift problem prevents Laguna victory repeat

A repeat of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner’s 2012 victory at today’s third round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series was thwarted by a transmission issue which delayed the duo’s Corvette C6.4 by six laps.  They finished the four-hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 9th place but problems for the second-placed Porsche in post-race technical checks saw their points taken from them so Olly gained a valuable 5 points towards the title chase.

Olly started the race – which featured seven full course caution periods – from third on the GT grid but recalls that it was a crazy event from start to finish.  “The start was particularly crazy, and I was being pushed into the pit wall even before the start finish line by the No.23 Ferrari.  As I was being driven straight towards the pit wall I decided to brake to not go into the flag stand!”

The Briton continues:  “From about the fifth or sixth lap of the race we had a gearshift problem which turned out to be a cracked hose on the shift system.  After about 100 minutes into the race the car got stuck in 6th gear on the front straight but fortunately a caution had just come out so I followed the safety car for a lap.  At that lower speed though I was almost stalling the car so we had to pit while the pits were closed and got it somewhat fixed.  After our driver change Tommy went out again but the temporary fix hadn’t held and we had to re-pit for a new fitting.

“By that stage we’d lost more laps and it was a great shame as the car was good today and there wasn’t much between us and the No.3 car which went on to win.  It’s really fantastic for them – after being so close so many times last year they’ve got the monkey off their back and got the victory the whole team deserves.”

Oliver’s focus now turns 100% towards the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France and he’ll be off there for the official test weekend on the 8/9th June, with the race being 22nd/23rd June.

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