News and views from Oliver Gavin: 12 Hours of Sebring

sm_2RPN2260HEADLINES

  • Sensational victory for Oliver Gavin and the #4 Corvette
  • A brutal race in extremely testing conditions
  • Fiercely competitive in GTLM wih relentless nose-to-tail tussles
  • Race stopped with the clock ticking at the 2h50m mark due to severe rain and lightning
  • Storming drive by Olly’s regular teammate, Tommy Milner, to battle to the front in both parts of the race
  • Victory looked unlikely as Marcel Fassler had a series of minor offs while fighting the worst of the conditions at the 6h30m mark
  • Gavin takes a commanding points lead in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (NAEC)

    THE STORY OF THE RACE

  • Six GTLM cars on the lead lap at the flag
  • Margin of victory of 2.8s
  • The #4 Corvette completed 235 racing laps and 879 miles
  • Driver running order: Marcel Fassler, Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner
  • Changeable conditions tested the cars and drivers to the limit and beyond
  • Big incident involving the sister #3 Corvette and rival #911 Porsche helps the #4 Corvette’s cause
  • Gavin drives the crucial third stint to regain a lap and set up Milner’s storming drive to victory

    Gavin says…

    On a welcome but unexpected victory…

    “Before the weekend and looking at the Balance of Performance (BoP) restrictions that were imposed on us, as well as the opposition’s testing pace, victory looked unlikely.

    “It’s a testament to the experience, quality and strength and depth of the Corvette Racing team that it has risen to these challenges, whether they be engineering, conditions or strategy-related.”

    “We had a superbly prepared racecar and, together with great work from Michelin, we made all the right calls.”

    On the weather conditions…

    “On the 16 occasions I have raced at Sebring International Raceway, I have never seen rain, so this was a complete first for me. It was a challenge for everyone!

    “IMSA has to be given credit for learning lessons from last year’s Petit Le Mans and handling this race so well. They made the right decisions at the right times and, while the track was treacherous, they gauged when it was and when it wasn’t raceable.”

    On the #4 Corvette’s trips across the Floridian scenery at the midway point…

    “Marcel (Fassler) was unlucky to take over the car at such a tricky time, as the track was drying, but it was never really clean cut between slicks and wet weather tyres. The track was treacherous to say the least and he did well to avoid a bigger off than he had, although it was a little alarming to see the car driving around with the course markers stuck to the front. We were lucky that it didn’t overheat and damage the engine.”

    On Tommy Milner’s contribution to the win…

    “Tommy was absolutely brilliant. In the first session, he hauled the car up into first place, until the rain came and shuffled the pack. He then had to deal with the race stoppage and taking a difficult restart. When I handed the car to him with three hours to go, there was still a lot to do, as we were fourth, but on the lead lap. He handled the darkness well and raced the competition effectively to take the car back to the front, despite several high-pressured restarts. He earned us the win.”

    On his Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup chances…

    “It’s very satisfying to be leading the championship so convincingly. We are hitting all of our objectives as a team and the Corvette Racing family is a happy place to be at the moment. The team thrives on the challenges of endurance racing and that can be seen, not just in these first two rounds of 2016, but our 24 Hours of Le Mans win from last year and our record over the past two seasons. For sure, we won’t rest on our laurels, but it is a very strong position to be in.”

    For more information on Oliver Gavin and his racing activities, please visit the officialwww.olivergavin.com website, ‘like’ his Facebook page¬†or follow @olivergavin on Twitter.

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