• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner enjoyed a seven-point advantage ahead of Saturday’s (17 September, 2016) Lone Star Le Mans race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas
• A fifth place finish proved to be a solid result for the title leaders as they extend the gap to 11 points ahead of the finale at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta
• Gavin took the first stint from sixth position on the grid before handing over to Milner who had to battle some cockpit issues and handling imbalances to get a fifth place finish.
• With the championship within reach, the next stop is Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans
• Gavin and Milner need a seventh place finish at Petit Le Mans to claim the title.
A massive result for the championship standings…
“I started sixth, got up to fifth at turn one but around 7-8 laps into the race my car had some brake issues and it was sluggish and slow across the centre of the corners. I let Jan (Magnussen) by to see if he could put some pressure on the #67 (leading championship rival).
“Things were then neutralised at the first safety car period and everyone in our class pitted. I handed off to Tommy. The guys at Corvette Racing did a great job and got us out in front of the #67. Tommy then held firm against a tough challenge from the #67 as the two cars came into turn 11 just before the halfway point.
“The two cars came together as Milner defended his position. Tommy emerged unscathed while the #67 car lost 12 laps due to damage. Tommy then finished off the race but had to battle with some issues inside the cockpit and intense pressure from the #25.
“We came over the line fifth, with some luck on our side, netting some very valuable points for the championship. At this point in the year it’s all about the championship table and you’ll take the points however they come…”
The race at COTA and setup changes…
“COTA has been pretty hard on Tommy and I over the last few years. The race weekend was shaping up to be difficult one and the championship lead was in danger of being surrendered. We kept working away at it with the car and our strategy for the race and against the odds we came away with a bigger points lead than before the weekend.
“As has been the way all year, Corvette Racing has worked tirelessly to give us the best car possible and we have never given up.”
And so to the big one…. Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with Marcel Fassler joining the #4 line-up…
“Petit Le Mans is always a fantastic event but a very tough one to win. We’ve been strong there in the past and the team know the 10-hour race inside out.
“We’ve also recently had a two-day test there that went quite well. We are prepared, ready to go and in a positive frame of mind. We’ll be joined again by our good friend and ace enduro driver Marcel Fassler.
“He was in COTA this last weekend and it was good to catch up with him. So far this year we’ve done two races together with Marcel – Daytona 24H and Sebring 12H – and won both! Let’s hope we can make it three out of three and finish the season with another win at Petit!”