Olly to race in V8 Supercars

Hot on the heels of his latest GT win in the American Le Mans Series at Mosport in Canada, comes the announcement that Olly will complete Kelly Racing’s driver line-up for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland this October 21-23.

He will partner Greg Murphy in the team’s #11 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore at the Surfers Paradise event, which sees international drivers paired with full-time V8 Supercar drivers in the third endurance event of the season.

A three-time winner of the GT class in both the American Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Olly will be up against a field of big names which includes his Corvette team mates Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook.  Westbrook will drive for Kelly Racing alongside Todd Kelly on the Gold Coast this October.

Olly also drives a Camaro for Banner Racing in the GT Class in the Grand-Am Sportscar Series, meaning he will race a trio of GM-powered V8 race cars in 2011 when the Pepsi Max Crew’s Holden Commodore V8 Supercar is added to his illustrious racing CV.

Todd Kelly, Racing Director of Kelly Racing said of his latest signing:  “We’re really pleased to have a driver of the calibre of Oliver Gavin join Kelly Racing for the Armor All Gold Coast 600.  Oliver drives for Corvette Racing, as does Richard Westbrook, who will be driving with me on the Gold Coast. Oliver is another of the world-class GT sportscar drivers who are so versatile when it comes to racing different kinds of cars week in, week out.

“We are all really pleased to have Oliver teaming up with Murph in the Pepsi Max Commodore for the Gold Coast and we think we’ve got a top notch line-up of internationals for our team for October.”

Q & A with Oliver:

What do you think about the Gold Coast event and ‘international’ co-driver concept?

“I think it’s a brilliant idea and just wish there were more of these kinds of races around the world. The fact that they’re also in V8-powered, rear wheel drive cars that look a huge amount of fun to drive and are somewhat similar to what I’m racing in at the moment makes it even better.  I’m really looking forward to going down under and competing against some big star names in the series.”

What do you think about V8 Supercars?

“It’s a very exciting series, which has got the formula absolutely right in terms of what people want to see in touring cars. They want to hear the roar of an engine and drivers battling wheel to wheel and that’s what it has in spades; what I feel touring cars should be like.

“I think there’ve been some great races at the Surfers Paradise circuit itself and it lends itself to this close kind of racing. The series appears to me to be exciting, dynamic and fan friendly. You feel it works hard to engage the fans and people to come to the races, just like the American Le Mans Series does, so think I’ll feel right at home.”

How excited are you to be a part of the Gold Coast event this year?

“I can’t wait! I’m going to be down there racing with, and against, some of the V8 stars plus many other drivers who I compete against or with currently, including my Corvette Racing team-mate Richard Westbrook.

“It’ll be time to show them who’s who and what’s what! There are also others out there that I’ve raced against before. I hope Dario Franchitti comes back again this year as I used to race against him in karts when I was about 11 or 12 years old.”

Do you think experience in rear wheel drive V8s (Corvette) will help at all as you try to learn a V8 Supercar?

“Every car and tyre is different and you probably need to have a certain style of driving to get the most out of it. The basic layout of the V8 is similar to the Corvette, but until you get your bum in the seat you’re never really sure what it’ll be like to drive. I’m relishing the challenge – it will be fantastic fun.”

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