OLIVER GAVIN'S LONG RUN TO LONG BEACH Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin, has in the last few weeks spent more hours pounding the streets, lanes and tracks around his Northamptonshire home than he has spent in his car. And racing drivers will be...
OLIVER GAVIN'S LONG RUN TO LONG BEACH
Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin, has in the last few weeks spent more hours pounding the streets, lanes and tracks around his Northamptonshire home than he has spent in his car. And racing drivers will be the first to admit they usually drive everywhere!
In the run up to the Virgin London Marathon on 25th April, the Corvette Racing superstar has been running 60-70 miles a week in training, and feels that it has all gone better than he could have expected. He is entering as part of a very competitive team, all members of the British Racing Drivers' Club at Silverstone, running for the CLIC Sargent children's cancer charity. Oliver, a veteran of five marathons, has set himself a personal target of running the 26.2 miles in less than three hours and has been working as hard on fundraising in recent weeks as he has in training. The collective goal is to raise £50,000.
"I've had a new training programme for this year, passed on to me by Antonio Garcia" said Oliver, "and I'm finding it easier to do more mileage at this stage than I have in the past. Apart from a few little niggles, aches and pains, it's gone really well. I've been trying to stay on top of the mileage you have to do, and the pace you have to keep, and it's a pretty rigorous schedule. You have to be careful not to over push and end up injuring yourself.
"I'm off to California this week for round two of the American Le Mans Series, for a 100-minute sprint race on the streets of Long Beach, so I'm fitting that into my schedule too. I won't be running too much this week but I will start gradually upping my carbohydrate intake which means I get to start eating all sorts of nice things like pasta, maybe some pizza, and chocolate!"
Oliver, 37, will be sharing the driving on the scenic, 1.96 mile temporary street course, which sits in the shadow of the Queen Mary ocean liner, with his long-time driving partner, Olivier Beretta of Monaco. With an entry of 36 cars, and limited practice time before the Saturday afternoon race, Oliver acknowledges that success for any one of the entries will require an element of luck.
"I think there will be a number of challenges for the weekend. Practice is so early on Friday morning and it's going to be cold, the track will be filthy, and we'll be running in conditions that will be completely different to how the circuit will be on race day. People might question why you're out there but all the while you're there gathering data and the track itself is a lot of fun.
"There will be a lot of cars on track, and some with drivers who have no experience at Long Beach, so there's a strong chance of lots of yellows and reds in each session, and probability of getting caught up in someone else's accident is high. We will have to be cautious and careful at the same time as being super competitive so it will be a big challenge. For me it will be quite a strange weekend as I will drive at the start of practice on Friday morning and the next time I will be on the track will be during the race itself. We normally share out the track time pretty equally but, as it's so limited and Olivier will be qualifying, he's going to get the lion's share."
A multiple championship winning driver with Corvette racing in North America, the Bedfordshire-born will be lining up in his canary-yellow and black Corvette C6.R race car next Saturday, April 17 on the streets of Long Beach, California against fellow competitors in BMWs, Ferraris, Ford GTs, Jaguars and Porsches.
For more information on the London Marathon and to donate please visit the team's JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/BRDC-marathon-legends. CLIC Sargent is a charity that offers an amazing range of support for children who have cancer and for their families. Their work includes providing specialist nurses to provide care during hospital stays and visits; these nurses can also visit the child's home to provide some treatments. Other than clinical care, they provide a helpline, family care & support, financial support, holidays, play specialists and services for young children. An important arm of their charity is the vital research that is dedicated to improving survival rates, reducing side effects and minimizing the emotional impact of childhood cancer.