Oliver Gavin joined Barwell Motorsport for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, round four of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (30-31 July, 2016), teaming up with Jon Minshaw, Phil Keen and Joe Osbourne, in the #666 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the Pro-Am Cup.
Thoughts on the Total 24 Hours of Spa
“It was an intense race. A race of changing conditions, great strategy calls and big pressure as this year the competition was even more intense, a much higher level of driving. My teammates all did a fantastic job, no question and I did my bit ,using my experience and knowledge built up over the years of racing in GT cars. The team and out engineer Andy did a great job with the car. Also talking me though the conditions and strategy in while in the car it’s an excellent result.”
How the rain effected thing in the latter stages?
“It was tricky when the rain first started to fall. The team were talking to me about the conditions and the team said it was going to pass relatively quickly so we made the decision to stay on slicks when nearly everyone else went to wets.
“It was only wet for seven or eight laps but it was sketchy at times but I managed it and then pitted for fresh slicks as a dry line started to appear and this kept us on the right strategy for the stops to the finish.
“It then of course rained again and we switched to wets – scrubbed ones – as we thought it was a passing shower. This time however it was very heavy with standing water and aquaplaning which was very bad for the first three laps but then it stabilised.
“I was then able to take big chunks out of the car in front and I got us up to second in class before Jon took over but unfortunately he picked up a puncture which was a real shame as he was going so well in the wet.”
There was a fair bit of incident, some contact, pitstop issues and two punctures…
“We had the wheel gun malfunction that cost us the 55-seconds, we were hit twice and we were collected in someone else’s accident, plus two punctures but in a 24-hour race these things are likely to happen.”
The Lamborghini is very different from the Corvette
“I’ve driven the Corvette for a number of years and it can take some getting used to when you switch cars. It’s almost as if you have to forget large chunks of what you’ve learned and start from scratch. The three main differences in the Lamborghini are the ABS, the Pirelli tyre and the engine being in the middle! These things all takes some getting used to but we found the pace and in the end secured a great result for the team.”
A good experience with Barwell Motorsport overall
“It’s been a good week and I’ve enjoyed racing with a British team again. I’d like to thank all at Barwell Motorsport, fantastic job by all but special mention has to go to Mark Lemmer and Chris Needell for helping me in putting this together.”
Just a short pause now before Road America, another classic circuit and a championship to defend
“I think I have something like ten hours at home before I head back to the US. Road America has been good historically for Corvette Racing and going from Lime Rock to there is really quite a jump, in terms of circuit size and layout. It’s a real challenge and always provides great racing for the fans.
“It’s so different from Lime Rock – it’s fast – and there isn’t a driver out there who doesn’t enjoy the challenge of Elkhart Lake. We’re of course heading there as the championship leaders and that’s what we need to ensure we maintain with only 4 rounds of the championship left…”