Post-Monterey Grand Prix news and views from Oliver Gavin

sm_2RPN8498HEADLINES

  • Seventh place for Oliver Gavin brings podium run to an end
  • Pit stop penalty ruins any chance of a top three finish
  • Championship lead remains intact as Gavin’s closest rivals fail to capitalise

    The story of the race…

  • Chevrolet Corvette C7.R struggles for pace against Ferrari and Ford, as the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship’s Balance of Performance takes its toll
  • Tommy Milner qualifies the #4 Corvette fifth
  • Gavin takes over from Milner after 40 minutes of racing, taking advantage of a full-course yellow
  • A long second stop on lap 48 spoils Gavin’s race; his car’s air jacks fail to release and the #4 Corvette’s wheels spin up before grounding and engaging gear
  • The pit incident results in a drive-through penalty, which puts the #4 Corvette a lap down on the main pack
  • Gavin battles back past the #911 Porsche, the BMWs and into P7 to salvage some points.

    Gavin says…

    On breaking his podium run…

    “The Continental Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca was a tough race for us in many ways. We worked hard on getting a good balance on the new Michelin ‘Le Mans-spec’ tyres at Laguna, which has historically been a battle. In the last stint, things were coming together and I was the fastest car on-track, passing a Porsche and two BMWs and reeling in the Ford and the Ferrari. I think with another couple of laps, seventh could have been fifth.”

    On the problematic second pit stop…

    “Unfortunately, we had a problem with the air jack wand being a little too slow to release. Our stops were heavily choreographed and I was watching the Crew Chief, Brian, and the Wand Man and anticipating the moment to release the clutch and leave the pit box. The momentary pause in the car coming down off the jacks meant the wheels were spinning while the car was in the air and that is against the rules.”

    On the objectives for the next round of the championship…

    “We salvaged some points from the Monterey Grand Prix and we’ve got some more testing on the latest Michelin tyres at Elkhart Lake in readiness for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Hopefully we can get them to work better on our front-engined Corvette, as they seemed to favour the mid-engined Fords and Ferraris at Laguna Seca. We still have the lead in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship and consistent points finishes are key if we are to maintain that advantage. That will be our goal.”

    On a busy month of May…

    “We’ve got a bit of a busy month ahead. Testing will be followed by some General Motors PR events in Frankfurt and then I will venture into Asia to continue with my young driver development programme. The first stop will be Shanghai with formula cars and then I’ll be dealing with LMP3 cars in the new ACO Sprint Series in Kuala Lumpur, before returning to the UK. I will be home for three days!”

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

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