News and views from Oliver Gavin from Virginia International Raceway

sm_3RXP3253-(1)The story of the weekend

  • Corvette Racing aced the front-row of the grid on Saturday in qualifying
  • Track conditions at Virginia International Raceway changed significantly following heavy rain making race-day tough for Oliver Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner
  • A tough race with an off for both Milner and Gavin, the latter ending the day after going off on fluids dropped by another car
  • Gavin and Milner however retain their championship lead, with a seven-point cushion heading to Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Texas on 17 September.

    Gavin says:

    On the result and the championship challenge heading to COTA

    “Tommy and I are both disappointed in how the race turned out for us today. It unravelled for us pretty much right from the start. My accident was the end of a very difficult day and very unfortunate with the fluid on the circuit, but hopefully this will be the only major blip in our season and we’ll bounce back strongly at the next round in COTA.

    “The one major positive from the weekend was the victory for the sister #3 car. Jan (Magnussen) and Antonio (Garcia) have had some rough luck this year and for them to finally get a victory is great for the whole team. It also extends Chevrolet’s lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Tommy and I still hold the lead in the drivers’ championship by seven points, so that is really the silver-lining.

    It was a tough race for us from the get-go

    “It was hot and humid all weekend but the new surface at VIR, ruberred in well through Friday and Saturday morning providing us with lots of grip. Then there was a massive rain storm on Saturday afternoon and that washed that away and the C7.R was edgy and nervous in Sunday morning warm-up.

    “We started the race second after Jan and Tommy had driven excellently in qualifying to lock out the front row for Corvette Racing. In the race, Tommy got pushed wide at the first turn and lost a couple of spots. He then lost out to one of the BMW’s before passing a Porsche for fifth before having an off-track moment at turn ten.

    “We then had to pit to clear the radiator as it was filled with grass and we had to stop any potential overheating, but more important we were now out of sync and had to make an extra stop for fuel than out rivals. Unfortunately, during the stop – in haste to get the car back out on track – too many crew members were working on the car. We then had to serve a drive-through penalty for this.

    “We struggled a bit with setup and I got in the car with an hour remaining and (Engineer) Chuck (Houghton) made some changes to the car and this had a had a positive influence on the balance and the speed of the car.”

    On the off that curtailed the running of the #4 Corvette

    “It was all going well after the earlier problems as I set the fastest lap 20 laps into my stint before the final stop. Then it went wrong under braking for the final corner as the car just snapped sideways on me. I was on the grass in a heartbeat. The car then slid down the grass and impacted hard into the tyre wall.

    “Unbeknown to me, other drivers had just had reported fluid down at the final corner, but that was too late for me as I slid off the road. The C7.R showed how well built and strong it is, as I was even able to make it back to the pits. Once back at the pit box the team made the call that the car couldn’t be made race ready in the time left, so that was that.”

    Looking ahead to COTA

    “What goes around, comes around. We have had a tough weekend and others will in the remaining rounds. We’ll just move on from this and look forward to racing in Austin and making sure that we make the most of the opportunities that come our way.”

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

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