Oliver Gavin reflects on the bitter-sweet last lap victory at Long Beach

Corvette Racing Long Beach 2017Wins are never easy, but a little luck fell Oliver Gavin’s way as he and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner took the chequered flag first to record GTLM victory on Saturday (8 April, 2017) around the streets of Long Beach, in what was the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.

Running first and second on the road, the #3 and #4 Corvette arrival at the final hairpin on the final lap to find the circuit partially blocked, with Antonio Garcia opting to take the outside line and found his path blocked. This allowed Milner to patiently pull alongside and then make his way through the blocked cars to take a dramatic victory…

Gavin says…

On a dramatic last lap, last corner victory

“It is certainly the most unusual race I have ever won. Road America last year was a bit special but this was on another level as it was all down to the last lap and the last corner – that’s just the way it unfolded. We managed to find a way through but it’s not the way we wanted to win, we always want to win by going wheel to wheel and winning on pure pace, not this way.

“A win is a win and after a frustrating start to the year this is good result to get our season started. This race was so random at points, it was really the case of who was in the right spot as the landscape kept shifting based on fuel, tyres, some random driving from other people and it really was a case of survival – keeping all four corner on the car – making sure you were there or thereabouts for the last 10-15 laps of the race.”

On strategy and teamwork and some bad luck for the sister C7.R

“We had a good pitstop, the fastest in the GTLM class and the guys worked so hard and that helped us in our battle in the final stages. It was so cruel on the sister #3 car but perhaps we were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

“Tommy lost positions in a similar incident at turn 11 earlier in the race and he used that experience to pick his way through on that final lap. But again, we really don’t want to win this way as our teammates had the race taken away from them.

“It was actually quite a hollow atmosphere in the team after the race, despite our win. We got lucky this year and last year the luck was against us with the Porsche taking us out, so some serious luck this year and we’ll roll with it and go with it, we’ve also made some good ground in the championship.”

On a tense opening few laps of the race and the first stint…

“The way the race even started was crazy. We came around on the formation lap and approached the hairpin (final turn) at almost racing speed, so into turn one, it was always going to be difficult. The Ferrari was so aggressive and passed (#3 teammate) Jan (Magnussen) and then pushed the prototype into turn five and turned it around. The exit of turn five is heavily cambered away and I knew the accident would be out wide, so I opted to turn inside, give myself some room, and made it through.

“With years of racing, especially at street circuits like this, you get a sense of what will happen and unravel, so I gave myself some breathing room as you could see (from the) the body language of the cars ahead that they were going to have an accident. For the rest of the stint, my aim was to get past Bill (BMW) and give the car over to Tommy as straight and cleanly as possible. We had a great stop, so it was a case of doing the basics well and giving us the option of attacking at the end… almost the foundations to win.”

What goes around comes around…

“We got lucky at the end, but we needed to be there. At the last restart, there was 20 minutes to go and it was the business end of the race. Tommy made a great pass on the BMW and Ford to get us up to second. Then it came down to the last turn on the last lap… It’s hard not being in the car for those final laps, but you trust your teammate. He was a victim last year and this year was a complete flip – we got the luck.

“We’ve now had six wins here – some 50 per cent – so it’s an impressive tally. The team is in a good position, always focused on the business end of the race and that’s a real theme that started about 18-months ago, and has really paid dividends. It’s so important to be focused on those final laps and be ready to go. It’s all about reading the race, understanding the track and using the skill, knowledge and experience of the whole team.

“Now we head to Austin and COTA, where we hope we can have another strong run and really get our championship defence back on track.”

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Oliver Gavin aims for repeat 12 Hours of Sebring victory

2RPN2260_v2Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler are all set for this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring, (March 15 – 18, 2017) seeking a repeat of last year’s victory that helped pave the way to GTLM championship success.

Last time out, at the Daytona 24 Hours, Gavin and the team recovered from contact with a rival to finish in ninth position. This weekend, expectations are high as the series reconvenes for round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at a venue where the team and Gavin have a winning track record.

Thoughts on competing at the 12 Hours of Sebring

“This is one of the biggest races of the year for us and we as a team have had ten class wins since 2002 and I’ve won five times, so naturally I am keen to add to that tally if at all possible. We’re also again supported by Mobil 1 and all of our victories have come with them, so that’s a really nice stat!”

And the challenge of the circuit and expectations for race day

“The race is again very physical and it’s a hard, aggressive race with no margin for error as it’s a circuit that will really punish you.

“The weather doesn’t look to be an issue unlike last year where rain and bad weather really effected things. It will be nice to have a rain-free event this year.”

Preparations ahead of the race weekend

“We’ve done two tests already this year at Sebring and they both went well. Marcel had a decent amount of time in the car adapting to the higher levels of downforce than we had at Daytona. So, we’re all ready to go, we’ve worked hard on the race programme and the strategy.”

Away from the track, at the Geneva Motor Show

“It was great to be at the Geneva Motor Show representing Chevrolet and Corvette. As the brand ambassador, it was nice to meet with the European dealers and join them for dinner on the Wednesday night. It was also really pleasing to see how much enthusiasm and support there is for Corvette with many questions about the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the cornerstone of the season.”

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Oliver Gavin endures tough 24 Hours of Daytona

Corvette Racing; Rolex 24 at Daytona; Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida; January 28-29, 2017; C7.R #3 driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, and Mike Rockenfeller; C7.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fassler (Richard Prince/Chevrolet photo).

It proved to be a difficult day in the office for Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing this weekend (28-29 January, 2017) in the Rolex 24H at Daytona.

Having won the event last year in dramatic style, Gavin and teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler had to settle for a ninth-place finish on a weekend where an incident and a mechanical issue effectively ended the charge for a repeat victory.

·          Oliver Gavin finished Rolex 24H ninth in the GTLM class and 16th overall

·          After qualifying ninth, Gavin took the first stint despite suffering from the flu’

·          The C7.R ran competitively on the lead lap until a collision with a Ford GT after seven hours

·          The #4 team lost 21 laps whilst repairs were carried out

·          Continuous rain for 12 hours from 8pm made the racing treacherous

·          There was an unprecedented seven hours under full course yellow

Olly says…

Key to the race was contact and the breakage of the right-rear control arm…

“Ultimately our race was shaped by the contact from the #69 when Marcel was behind the wheel. We lost a lot of time but we managed to make up five laps that were lost from making the repairs. However, it was far too big a deficit and we were still 16 laps back, finishing ninth.

“At the end, the racing was fantastic and more than anything we wanted to be in that battle at the front just like last year. It looked like a lot of fun!”

After qualifying in P9, it looked to be a good start to the 24-hour race

“Yes, the first stint went well. The first lap, as always here, was eventful! You always have to weigh up how much risk to take to grab a spot from a competitor and it worked out for me and I gained a couple of places.

“From then on it was very close racing with the Ford and Porsche, a lot of fun. I got out after a single stint due to being a little under the weather. I was ill Friday, better Saturday but still fighting it off. And so it was over to Tommy and Marcel after that first stint…”

Cold and wet conditions made this an unusual event for Daytona

“My last stint in the race was okay. I was finally back on dry tyres after hours and hours on rains. The car felt good and we had pretty good pace, but like the sister car, we were just missing a little to the leaders.

“It was certainly one of the toughest 24 hour races for me. From being unwell to then the weather on early Sunday morning… Le Mans 2001 was the last time I experienced conditions as treacherous over so many hours.”

Not the dream result but a strong showing from the Corvette Racing

“We may not have had the fastest car but Corvette Racing once again showed their strengths in the pits.

““For the final stop of the race, the #3 car came in the pits in fourth position and was comfortably in the lead at the pit exit. Amazing pit work. A great job throughout the race by all at Corvette Racing.”

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Defending champion Oliver Gavin aiming high on return to Rolex 24H

Corvette Racing; Rolex 24 at Daytona; Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL; January 30-31, 2016; C7.R #3 driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, and Mike Rockenfeller; C7.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fassler (Richard Prince/Chevrolet photo).

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans champion Oliver Gavin heads into his 2017 campaign and this year’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (26-29 January, 2017) as defending GTLM winner. Gavin is joined again by teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler and is aiming to repeat Corvette’s one-two finish from 2016.

Gavin says…

On the off-season and 2017 prep

The off season has been good. Great to spend some good time at home with the family to rest and relax. Also, gave me a chance to lay a foundation of fitness for my 2017 season.

On the 2017 Roar Before The Rolex 24

The 3-day ROAR before the 24 test went very well for the 1st 2 days. The 3rd day didn’t really go to plan.

During the final morning’s practice session at Daytona, the No. 4 Corvette C7.R experienced an issue with a fuel line that allowed fuel to escape, contact a hot surface and ignite. The fire was quickly extinguished.

The damage was limited to the engine compartment of the car. Marcel was taken to the infield care centre as a precaution; he was evaluated, released and cleared to drive.
Both Corvette C7.Rs will be ready to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

On teaming up with Tommy and Marcel for the Rolex 24 at the end of the month…

Delighted to be back with Tommy and Marcel. All 3 races we had together in 2016 were fantastic. They were always action packed – lots of twists and turns. That finish at Daytona still gets the heart racing! Winning two and finishing third in the other were the main reason why we won the North American Endurance Cup and the foundation that our 2016 GTLM Drivers Championship win was built upon.

On the new tyre compounds…

The tyres we have from Michelin this year have performed really well so far during all the testing. Historically Daytona is easy on tyres and I don’t see that changing. I still see that we’ll have to have the right tyre on the car at the right time, a lot will depend on temps and conditions.

Ahead of returning to the Daytona 24 Hours as a winner…

To repeat last year’s thrilling finish would be unbelievable. Though I’m not sure some of the team management, drivers or crew could take watching another 10 laps like that!

The team is going for 3 wins in a row at the Daytona 24hrs and to have another 1-2, like the 2016 Rolex finish, would be very special for all involved at Corvette Racing. It is the focus and motivation for everyone at the team.

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Oliver Gavin confirmed with Corvette Racing for the 2017 season

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With no less than 48 wins with Corvette Racing since 2002, Oliver Gavin will again compete alongside Tommy Milner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.

2016 proved to be a most-successful season for Gavin with he and teammate Milner notched up the brand’s 100th GTML victory on the way to his fifth title with the team.  Naturally he is looking forward to getting back to the track and competing for more success…

On your 16th season with Corvette Racing?

“It’s definitely an honour to be back for another season. I started with Corvette Racing in 2002, so driving in 2017 and representing Corvette Racing for another full season is a huge honour and I’m really looking forward to being back on track at Daytona – the first race of the season – and seeing where we are.

“It’s great to be back with Tommy for what will be our sixth year together. We’ve had some fantastic races, won championships, and we have some great moments together, I’m sure we’ll add to those in 2017.”

A week to celebrate with home recognition from the BRDC with the Fairfield Trophy

“I’m delighted with the BRDC Fairfield Trophy I collected Monday at the awards lunch. I’m a proud member of the BRDC and to be recognised by them when I spend so much time racing in the US is very special – great to know that my competition is not cut off from the UK and Europe –  so I’m delighted to be recognised this year for my achievements.

“It was also a personal pleasure to be presented by six-time Gold Olympic Cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy. Sharing a stage with such a legend who has waved the flag and achieved so much for our country, was very special…”

With 48 wins, there must be one or two that stands out above the others?

“There’s so many races and so many wins that are special. The freshest and most spectacular was the 2016 Daytona 24hrs. That was an intense, hard fought battle with our teammates. Unreal finish.

“Le Mans 24hrs in 2006 was an exceptional race as it was hot and so tough against our rivals in GT1. The C6.R was a great car that year and I teamed up with Jan Magnussen and Olivier Beretta for the extremely intense race-long battle against the Astons. It was really a great race for Corvette Racing and it was our third in a row, so that was very satisfying.”

On 2016 and chances for 2017 at the big races at Daytona and Le Mans?

“We were not really sure how competitive we would be in 2016 against very tough competition, but on balance over the year in the IMSA championship the C7.R had strong performance. In saying that, Le Mans was very very hard for us. The Balance of Performance is a necessary evil – manufacturers, officials, fans and drivers have to accept that sometimes things work out, sometimes not. You always need to look at the year as a whole and more often than not, in 2016, IMSA got the balance correct.

“Balance of Performance especially comes into focus at Daytona and Le Mans as they’re such long races and the effect is magnified over the 24 hours, so in 2017 we come back with a similar package, albeit with slightly varying tyre compounds, so we will have to wait and see how it all plays out in the big events.”

Is there one thing in particular you would like to tick off your ‘done’ list for 2017?

“With 48 wins, I’m obviously very close to an important milestone and that – along with the championship – is the target and if I could get there it would be amazing. We’re always chasing the wins, especially at the big events. Over a 12-month period in 2015/16 we won Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Very special.

“One that seems to have got away is COTA (Circuit of the Americas). It’s just never clicked or we’ve had bad luck. This year the race is in May instead of late summer, so perhaps that will bring a change of fortune and I can get that monkey off my back.

“Sometimes as hard as you try, races can pick you. Road America this year is a classic example. The way things unfolded in those final laps was amazing. That race certainly picked us for the win!”

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2016 CHAMPION! – News and views from Oliver Gavin

Corvette Racing Petit Le Mans 2016The story of the Petit Le Mans weekend

  • Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta on Saturday 1 October, 2016
  • Sharing driving duties in the ten-hour classic with both Milner and Marcel Fassler, Gavin needed to finish seventh or better to claim the title and duly went four places better with a third place
  • Gavin, Milner and Chevrolet also sweep Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Gavin says:

Going down to the wire and winning the championship

“It’s fantastic to clinch the championship after a long, intense and hard fought season against really strong competition; so very satisfying. Yesterday we claimed every championship we possibly could, the Manufacturers for Chevrolet, the Team for Corvette Racing, The drivers for Tommy and I, as well as the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. I call that a good day!”

On starting seventh and working through the field

“We knew coming into the weekend we had an 11-point buffer in the championship and we only needed to finish seventh to clinch the title. The track was very different from when we tested a month ago and that had us a little concerned at the start of the weekend but we worked away with the car. Qualifying was super-close and Tommy did an ace job to get within three-tenths of pole, we ended up seventh. We knew we had a good race car and that we are also good at tuning the car during the race to get us into a good performance window. We knew if we could just do our usual deal and execute, that we’d be in a good spot to clinch the championship.

“In the race our car was tricky and edgy in the first stint but then we made some changes and Tommy did an excellent job to work up the order. When he handed it over to me we were running third.  The #67 Ford started fast and was running very strongly with Richard Westbrook at the wheel but ran into trouble three hours in.

“Then the mindset changed slightly for us. It went from being cautious in traffic and making high-percentage moves to going all out for the win. We continued to adjust the car and set up and I passed the Ferrari for the lead just before the four-hour mark, pulling out a ten second lead.”

Before taking the podium and title at Petit Le Mans

“Our race ebbed and flowed for the next few hours. There was a long caution period when the track had to be patched up, Marcel was in the car. He continued after that but then had a small off at T1 and got quite a lot of grass in the radiator. We lost some time but we were still in the hunt.

“It came down to a straight fight between the #62 Ferrari, #66 Ford and us for the win. The Ferrari had a little too much pace and got the win. The #66 and I fought it out for the last two spots on the podium. We battled for the last seven laps, very close, I did get by the #66 but then we had contact and I ended up off track. I struggled to clean my tyres up after that and the #66 got away.

“Third was still a good result and capped our season off nicely.”

Credit to the Chevrolet Corvette team and thanks to the crew for the hard work and dedication

“Corvette Racing has done an amazing job all year and there have been many stand out performances by lots of different people. My teammate Tommy has driven fantastically all year, Chuck and Reed (My Engineers) have made some fantastic calls in the races both with the car and the strategy.

“The pitstops have been awesome all year, led by Brian Hoye (Crew Chief). These stops have literally turned a number of the races from being a fifth-sixth place to a podium or a win! World class.”

And so to the off season…

“Well there will be the usual off season testing and maybe a small holiday with my family. There will be some events with Chevrolet as well, both in Europe and the USA. Before I know it It’ll will be January, I’ll be on the plane to the Daytona 24H test and the 2017 season will be GO!”

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News and views from Oliver Gavin following COTA and the title battle

Corvette Racing COTA 2016The story of the race weekend

• 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.

Gavin says:

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!”

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News and views from Oliver Gavin ahead of Austin, Texas

20160618_lm-8183-ctlThe story ahead of the race weekend

• Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner head to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas this coming weekend (17 September, 2016) for the Lone Star Le Mans race
• Gavin and Milner lead the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship by seven points
• Gavin has been busy since the last race with some driver coaching for Aidan Read in Malaysia
• He also took the opportunity to drive some classic racing machinery at the Goodwood Revival.

Gavin says:

A busy schedule since the last race at VIR with some driver coaching…
“I’ve been out in Sepang, Malaysia mentoring and coaching young Aidan Read. Aidan has grown a lot as a driver over the year and the last race weekend in Sepang was a great example of that. He won all three races in both wet and dry conditions, so delighted for him. It was a great way to bounce back after being struck down by illness at the previous round of the championship.”

A fantastic weekend at the Goodwood Revival…
“I’ve also been racing and competing at the Goodwood Revival. This is a wonderful weekend at an amazing race track and facility. The machinery that’s raced and put on display is quite remarkable. Whether that’s World War II fighter planes or some of the most exotic one off sports cars from the 1950’s and 60’s. My wife Helen and I had a great weekend.

“I drove an Austin A35 in the St Mary’s Trophy race on Saturday afternoon, finishing seventh in tricky wet conditions.

“On Sunday I was entered into the headline race of the weekend, the one-hour two driver RAC TT for 1960’s sports cars. I was sharing a car with Craig Davies, a passionate and skilled historic racer who’d entered a 1965 Corvette StingRay.

“Craig started the race and marched up the order, getting us up into the top ten before handing it over to me at around 25-minute mark. Unfortunately, as soon as I left the pits the car developed a transmission problem and I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish. I pitted a couple of laps later. It was a great shame as the 600bhp StingRay had been performing fantastically… Next year maybe!”

Heading back to the US for the penultimate round of the championship at COTA…
“Switching gears now and I’m heading back to the USA and the next round of the WeatherTech championship at COTA, Austin, Texas. It’s usually very hot and humid for this event but the weather can sometimes surprise you with big and heavy storms.”

How the Corvette C7.R is expected to handle on this super-fast circuit…
“COTA is quite unique for the USA. It’s the newest facility we race at in our championship. It has a whole series of fast sweeping turns that call for a lot of aerodynamic downforce but then there are a couple of very long straights with very slow corners at the either end, so straight line speed is also important. It’s a balancing act and somewhat a compromise on the chassis-car setup.”

On leading the championship by a slender margin…
“It’s getting down to the business end of the year. We have a seven-point lead going into this weekend and our focus is on scoring as many points as possible. As it’s been with our class all year, the competition will be intense and any error – or bad luck – will see you sliding down the order. Once again Tommy, I and all at Corvette Racing will need to be on the top of our game.”

Planning and preparation by the Corvette Racing Team…
“Our test at Atlanta last month did help us unlock some car speed at VIR, we hope to be able to carry those findings over to COTA and have a strong run. We are ready, motivated and looking forward to the challenge this weekend brings!”

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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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    Road America victory, news and views from Oliver Gavin

    sm_2RPN1054v2The story of the weekend

    • Oliver Gavin and Corvette Racing teammate Tommy Milner took victory at Road America (7 August, 2016).

    • The win follows on from Corvette Racing celebrating its 100th victory last time out at Lime Rock

    • Milner ran in fifth position in the closing stages before final caution. With five minutes to go the race restart and he battled through to take a remarkable win

    • This is Gavin’s fourth victory at Road America and the win extends his championship advantage to 13 points with three rounds remaining

    Gavin says…

    Those final few laps
    “Those Crazy final laps. When the caution came out with 12 minutes to go we thought the race was over, little did we know.

    “At the restart it was frantic and everyone seemed to press the self-destruct button. Tommy kept his cool, made the smart moves and worked his way up the order, we all watched on in amazement!

    “The volume got louder and louder in the Corvette Racing pit and then when Tommy passed Richard for the lead everyone went crazy! A fantastic result.”

    A big turnaround following qualifying
    “We chased the setup most of the weekend. The car had a lot of oversteer in qualifying and also at the start of the race. The key point for our car was during the last pitstop.

    “Chuck Houghton took the decision to make a pretty big aero change, the pressure was on the crew to execute this in a very short time frame but once again they did an immense job.

    “The change transformed the car and Tommy was then able to attack and take the race to all our competitors. Once again, great teamwork.”

    A great result on a sad weekend

    “The result this weekend has helped lift the mood in the Gavin house. The break-in happened at the start of the race weekend, it’s a horrible experience. I’m just happy that my family is safe and well. I’m now heading home to straighten things out.”

    The title chase with just three rounds remaining
    “With 30 minutes to go in the race the #67 car was leading and we were sixth. We were effectively tied on points at that moment. To then finish the way we did is huge for the title race for Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and Tommy and I.

    “We’re now down to the last three races and we have a 13-point lead. It really is between the #67 and the #4, no one else is in touching distance. We haven’t always been the fastest but we’ve done the basics well, we’ve been smart and executed to the maximum. We have to keep doing what we are doing and keep the pressure up.

    “If this race shows one thing, it’s that you should never give up!”

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

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