Four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans 24 Hours winner and multiple American Le Mans (ALMS) GT Champion Oliver Gavin will next week be making his debut at the formidable Mount Panorama circuit in Australia for the Bathurst 12 Hour event. He will be competing in a Rotek Racing Audi R8 LMS with Rob Huff, Kevin Gleason and Richard Meins in the once-round-the-clock enduro.
The long-term Corvette Racing driver from Northamptonshire will partner World Touring Car Champion Huff for his maiden ‘Mountain’ run, his fellow Briton having recently broken into sportscar and GT racing, and Olly knows he will have to call upon all of his years of experience to defeat Australian motorsport’s sternest test. In 2011 he competed in the V8 Supercar Armor All Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise and brought home two top six results for the Kelly Racing Pepsi Max team, and he’s been looking for the opportunity to return to Australia ever since.
“This will be my very first time at Mount Panorama and it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hours with Rotek Racing,” said Gavin. “I’ve been keen to return to Australia since 2011 but my racing calendar hasn’t given me the break I needed. Bathurst has been a race missing from my CV and it has been growing in stature year on year. Any Australia motorsport aficionado will say that Bathurst is very unique and a circuit that cannot be replicated, in the same way as Le Mans, Macau, the Nürburgring and Spa; it’s certainly going to be a challenge.
“I think you need to spend quite a lot of time there to get somewhere close to being competitive and getting used to the circuit’s high-speed sections and the closeness of the walls is going to be one of the biggest challenges for me. I’ve also been told to look out for kangaroos!! However, we have a solid driver line-up and the plan is to push for the class victory. We will have a good, fast and solid package that’s capable of fighting with anybody.”
Mount Panorama is a unique and merciless motorsport venue in the New South Wales region of Australia. At 6.21km in length, it rises 174 metres and its undulating layout comprises of several challenging corners, including The Dipper – a steep, sharp left-hander – and Forrest’s Elbow, which leads onto the 1.91km-long Conrod Straight.