SRT with Gavin-Longin-Soulet-Ruffier in Spa Merchtem, Belgium. For the seventh successive time, the SRT team will be entering the Spa 24 Hours with a Corvette and, this year, it will be the final curtain for the American car in the GT1...
SRT with Gavin-Longin-Soulet-Ruffier in Spa
Merchtem, Belgium. For the seventh successive time, the SRT team will be entering the Spa 24 Hours with a Corvette and, this year, it will be the final curtain for the American car in the GT1 category as it is nowadays. And the team around Patrick Selleslagh has every intention of bringing this chapter of history to an end with a flourish. "This is the reason we are going to the Spa 24 Hours with a such an outstanding driver line up," commented team's leader. "Alongside our regulars in the FIA GT Championship, Bert Longin and James Ruffier, we are strengthened by the addition of Maxime Soulet and...Oliver Gavin! The British driver has enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years, at the heart of the official Corvette Racing team at Le Mans and in the American Le Mans Series, and it's with pleasure that we welcome him into our team. I am not a fan of forecasts, but a top three place will be our main objective."
"I am also especially happy," explains Bert Longin after having learnt of the news of Gavin's arrival within the team. "Because, on top of the experience that such a driver can bring, it also means that Pratt & Miller will support us on the technical and engineering side. And such a support is essential because it will really allow us to consolidate our chances for Spa. I am looking forward enormously to the race weekend and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel at the first test session. I am furthermore indebted to Patrick Selleslagh for having brought such a project to completion, with such a favourable outcome. This will allow us to play a key role in the last edition of the 24 Hours of Spa which will be run with the present-day GT1 cars."
Maxime Soulet is also delighted that the Briton will be coming to SRT for this event. "I am even more pleased at the support which Patrick is going to be able to benefit from. It's a mark of respect for his team and his hard work, which he's done so much of in the last few years with limited resources. Personally I'm looking forward a lot to this partnership with our American guests."
"It's true," confirms Patrick Selleslagh. "I consider this support as validation for our work, and I am sure that this will allow us to achieve a good result. At Spa, we have twice picked up a place of honour and, this year, we want even more from it! But don't put the cart before the horse, and let us build up for a good result stage by stage."
As for Oliver Gavin, he can't hide his satisfaction at the announcement. "I'm delighted to be driving for SRT at the Spa 24 hours. It's quite a late deal because everyone's been working hard to try and get their plans together, but I'm very happy to be returning to Spa for the first time since 2007 [when Oliver competed in the 24 Hours with Luc Alphand Aventures' Corvette]. Spa is a fantastic race track to compete at and, of course, the 24 Hours is a special event. We've got a line up of drivers with a huge amount of knowledge at Spa and in the Corvette, which I think gives us a really solid foundation to go into the race. SRT is a strong Belgian team with a great heritage at Spa and it's their home race and that gives me a lot of confidence. I remember meeting Patrick Selleslagh in 2003 at Pratt & Miller's race shop in the States when he was one of the very first Corvette C5R customers. He's been an extremely loyal and hard working privateer ever since that time and it's a testament to his determination that his team has continued racing and with good results, especially in the very competitive FIA GT Championship."
The Spa 24 Hours will begin on Wednesday, 22nd July with a day that's free to the public. On Thursday, 23rd July all the practice and qualifying sessions will take place, while the race will begin on Saturday, as the clock strikes 1600 hours...