After a calendar gap of eight weeks, Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin can’t wait to return to the American Le Mans Series for the fourth round of North America’s leading sportscar and GT racing series.
This year’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Saturday, 7th July will see 32 entries on the grid, 15 prototypes and 17 GT cars and Olly and his team mate Tommy Milner, driving the No.4 Corvette C6.R, will be one of the hot favourites for GT success. The duo are looking to continue where they left off after a great start to the 2012 season with GT victories at Long Beach and Laguna Seca and a podium finish at the Sebring Twelve Hours.
Northamptonshire, UK-based Olly has been far from idle in the intervening period and took part in his 12th consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans with Corvette Racing. Although it wasn’t to be a winning year in France, Olly has every reason to look forward to racing again at Lime Rock Park.
“So far this year we have had great success with two excellent wins and we want to keep it going at Lime Rock Park. Over the last couple of years we have had a few issues and struggled there but, with the improvements to the car this year, I think we are in a position to fight anybody there.
“We go from the longest track in our racing year to the shortest and, at only 1.5-miles, Lime Rock provides no room for error. It’s important to roll off the truck with a good set up straight off as you don’t get much track time; one day there’s practice and qualifying and the next it’s race day. Boom. You have to make sure the direction you’ve chosen to go in is the right one.
“Qualifying is important because passing is not that easy at Lime Rock and track position is vital. You have to push hard as lap times come around very quickly and there’s no time to relax – you’re flat out the whole time. Also, speedy pit work is crucial because of that short lap time, and how the crew will perform in the pits, or what strategy is called, is going to be very important. Our crew is really strong on these areas and it can make all the difference.”
Olly estimates that the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche and BMWs will be their nearest rivals after strong performances at Lime Rock in the past, so knows he, Tommy and their crew will have to be at the top of their game. It will undoubtedly be a hot, fast and intriguing weekend of racing.
The 2h 45 minute race is scheduled for 3 pm ET from Lime Rock Park, Lakeville CT. ESPN2 airs the race the same day at 4 pm ET and live coverage is available starting at 2:45 pm ET on ESPN3. The race is available to international fans through livestreaming on alms.com.