With 29 minutes left to run of the 2 hour 45 minute Grand Prix of Mosport, the red flags flew and everyone’s race came to a premature end. None was more disappointed than Oliver Gavin and his new-for-Mosport team mate, Jan Magnussen, who were relishing the opportunity to make a final assault on a podium finishing place.
The concrete barriers lining the high-speed Andretti Straight was severely damaged in an accident, and officials decided that it would take longer than the time available to properly repair it so brought the race to an early finish. Olly and Jan’s Corvette was fourth across the finish line in the GT class, making it four different manufacturers in the first four places.
“It wasn’t a great day,” said a deeply disappointed Olly. “No matter which way we turn, we don’t seem to catch a break. We had the speed to fight anyone including the winning Porsche or the Ferrari and BMW behind it.”
Both Corvettes encountered accidents and misfortune in the early part of the race, but battled back from a one-lap deficit to rejoin the frontrunners. Just as they had both made their final pit stops and taken on four fresh Michelin tyres for the sprint to the finish, the race was stopped for 45 minutes while the safety crew worked to repair the damaged barrier. The officials’ decision to conclude the race was then announced.
“The start was very slow, and there was concrete dust to soak up excess oil all over the track from a previous race,” said Oliver. “I managed to get around the BMW and then get right on Pat Long’s tail. After that it was the same story as Elkhart Lake – I could get close and pull alongside him, but I never had quite enough to overtake him.
“Our race changed completely just after Jan had taken over from me,” he notes. “It was effectively taken away from us by a rash challenge from a prototype which took us out of contention for a win by damaging a right front tyre. A crash on the front straight brought out a full-course yellow but Jan was already committed to the pits, which had been closed. The crew replaced the damaged wheel, but we then had to make another pit stop once the pits were open.
“We were left to fight for the final podium place but we really needed the last 30 minutes of the race to make that challenge and it wasn’t to be today.”
Oliver’s next race will be the final round of the American Le Mans Series at Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 2nd.