ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA 2008 -- GAVIN RECORDS BEST EVER FINISH Oliver Gavin today finished the Daytona 24 Hours in 7th place in his Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, his best ever finish at the annual Florida endurance event. He and his team mates, ...
ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA 2008 -- GAVIN RECORDS BEST EVER FINISH
Oliver Gavin today finished the Daytona 24 Hours in 7th place in his Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, his best ever finish at the annual Florida endurance event. He and his team mates, Tracy Krohn and Eric van der Poele, drove through challenging weather conditions, 24 safety car caution periods and a number of car issues in a race of high attrition. Their sister Krohn Racing car finished in 4th place and the result is the team's best ever at Daytona.
It was a great reward for a lot of hard work by everyone involved, as Oliver here notes. "Daytona is an event where you have to do a lot of housekeeping work. You need to be very prepared with your brakes, tyres, and your car because it's a very, very hard 24-hour race. The car came off the truck very well prepared and ready set-up wise and we knew before the start that you don't need to be super, super fast here to have a great result. You just need to be smart and stay out of trouble. You need to have a good team and teammates and have everyone working on the same game plan.
"All of that work before the race makes this result very rewarding, especially for the team who had a very difficult test earlier in the month. We had to switch back to the Riley which they ran last year, which is a very good car, but it still meant there was a lot for Eric and I to find out from the car and we had to do that in the race as there was no time in the days leading up to it.
"It's been a real epic battle for everyone in the team. It sort of ran reasonably smoothly in the sense we didn't have any big problems, but we had lots of little things -- puncture, bodywork damage, wipers not working, windshield steaming up, the rain, the tyres not being particularly good straight out of the pits, when you had to be really, really careful.
"It's been a real test and great to race against people I haven't raced against for a long, long time. People like Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves (Oliver raced against him in British F3 in 1995), and being up against Darren [Turner] in the same team as opposed to against each other in our usual Corvette and Aston Martin GT1 cars.
"I was very proud of the Krohn Racing team as they had a lot thrown at them in the last 24 hours and they found a solution for everything, whether it was the gearshift problem we had, to the windscreen to the bodywork. They worked out the problem and got over the hurdle. They are an excellent team."
Oliver's focus now moves back towards the GM Corvette Racing team with whom he will be competing in the GT1 category of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The first race of the season will be the Sebring 12 Hours on 15th March.