This coming weekend sees the ALMS visit a track that is favourite for almost every driver – Road America at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin – and Oliver Gavin is no exception. The 6th round of the series is one of only two races this year to take place on a Sunday (last race in Canada being the other) and the weekend’s track activities will be shared with the Grand Am Rolex Series…a good chance for each to view the other up close and personal before the two are combined for 2014!
Olly has won multiple times at the track in the past, but not in Corvette Racing’s GT era so will be looking to maintain the momentum from the previous round and finish at the front of what is sure to be yet another super-tight battle. He and Tommy Milner are currently second in the GT drivers’ points classification and both are keen to consolidate that position with a good result.
A GT lap around the 4.05 mile track takes approximately 2m4s and the busy schedule means that there will be just two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, 15-minutes of qualifying on Saturday morning followed by the race on Sunday afternoon. Track time and the chase for a good set up will be at a premium for everyone.
Olly explains here about the track and why it is one of his favourites in North America.
“You’ve always got this race track that’s fast, flowing and has a great feel to it. It has a lot of what everyone likes in a track – a decent amount of grip, some decent straights, some good braking zones, some opportunities to overtake and places where you can tow up behind people. You also have a couple of quick corners that you can really get into and which take some guts to go through. It’s great to see how the track evolves through the weekend and picks up grip through the race. This might influence the way you set your car up, to take advantage of that grip at the end.
“We’ve gone through different lengths of races at Road America: two hours and 45 minutes, four hours, six hours. Whatever length of race there suits me perfectly; I’d like to do 24 hours there because it’s the type of place where you could drive all day and get a huge amount of satisfaction.
“Someone said to me a few years ago, ‘It’s all 90-degree bends. Where’s the challenge in it?’ And when you look at it, there are a few but they are all really different. Whether it’s in the length of them, the way they come off certain gradients, whether they are slightly banked or whether they are the crest of a hill, they are all very different in the way they are laid out and have their own unique challenges. It’s far more than just a circuit with a number of 90-degree bends. I really like the place, it’s fantastic.”
Practice begins on Friday at 11:50 am ET and can be followed via the ALMS website.