Pre-Grand Prix at Long Beach news and views from Oliver Gavin



  • Oliver Gavin returns to the USA for the start of the “regular” WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship
  • Line-ups return to the two-driver format, with Gavin partnered by long-term teammate, Tommy Milner
  • First outing since the Daytona-Sebring double victory for the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
  • Gavin and Milner looking to build on their lead in the championship standings

  • Race lasting just 100 minutes presents little room for error
  • The tight, concrete wall-lined Long Beach Street Circuit demands precision
  • Single pit stop and driver-change adds to the intensity
  • Gavin elected to qualify the #4 Corvette and start Saturday’s (16 April) race
  • Gavin hoping for better fortune than in 2015, when a first corner incident denied them a top result

    Gavin says…

    On his expectations for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach…

    “After starting the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship with wins at Daytona and Sebring, everybody will be expecting great things from us. The reality is that Long Beach is such a unique challenge at only 100 minutes in duration that everything has to be perfect if you are to deliver a win. Mistakes are punished hard and good fortune is needed to get to victory lane.”

    After 36 hours of racing in two events, what are the specific challenges of the Grand Prix at Long Beach?

    “One pit stop, one driver-change and a tight street circuit means everybody has to be on their game from start to finish. Taking on fuel and changing tyres will take around 25 seconds and switching the drivers will take at least that amount of time, so the way Tommy (Milner) and I swap is going to be crucial. On-track we have to stay clean, as recovering from any misfortune is almost impossible, as we found in 2015.”

    On developments to the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R…

    “There aren’t really any major developments for this race, only minor things. The biggest change for us is a refuelling flow rate restriction imposed through the championship’s Balance of Performance (BoP). As time spent stationary in the pits during a single stop is critical for track position, it could be a significant obstacle for us this coming weekend.”

    On the competition at Long Beach…

    “Last year, Porsche was very strong on the Long Beach Street Circuit and Ferrari seemed to have a well-balanced car too, so I am sure they will be the ones to beat again. Traction out of the final corner is critical and Porsche seemed to master that in 2015. Ford will be keen to have a good showing after poor results at Daytona and Sebring, so I won’t rule it out, but we’ve had the winning car so far this season and I hope to be in the mix once again.”

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

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