Sebring: Oliver Gavin preview

Oliver Gavin starts campaign for third GT1 title in a row Reigning American Le Mans Series GT1 Drivers Champion, Oliver Gavin, might have only had one race since the end of the 2006 season, but he's been far from idle. His participation with...

Oliver Gavin starts campaign for third GT1 title in a row

Reigning American Le Mans Series GT1 Drivers Champion, Oliver Gavin, might have only had one race since the end of the 2006 season, but he's been far from idle. His participation with the Howard Motorsports/Dyson Racing entry at the Daytona 24 Hours in January was fitted around testing for his main 2007 focus -- his fifth consecutive season with the GM Corvette Racing team -- and some valuable family time.

"I've been very busy at home over the winter," says Oliver. "But, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel on a regular basis. I've been training hard, doing lots of running, spending time with my children and taking my daughter to football (soccer) and gymnastics, and have even figured out where everything is in the kitchen of our new house!"

While Gavin will be re-united once more with his Championship-winning team-mate, Olivier Beretta, in the #4 Corvette C6.R, there will be a new challenge for the 'Ollies' within the Corvette Racing team. Their endurance race partner of the last three years, Jan Magnussen, will now be their chief rival with Johnny O'Connell in the #3 sister Corvette. "We would definitely have preferred for him to stay in our car as he's been such a great partner and we've won a lot of races together," mused Oliver. "This is a great opportunity for him though, to have a whole season in that car, and good luck to him and Johnny.

"Despite Aston Martin Racing not being with us again this year, which is obviously a great shame, we'll be racing just as hard as ever. Jan and Johnny will be trying just as hard to beat us as we will them. There's already a healthy rivalry, we know how he races and what to expect. It will be very interesting!

"Sebring is always a tough start to the year because it's a very physical track for the drivers, and it's hard on the team and the cars, especially if it's very hot. Having said that, it's a great test and preparation for the season and, in particular, for Le Mans which is our chief focus this year."

As racing commitments in the USA clash with both the London and Paris Marathons this year, it is down to Mrs Gavin -- Helen -- to uphold family honours when it comes to pounding the streets of Europe. She, together with a group of 14 other women, mostly from the Gavins' home village of Yardley Hastings in Northamptonshire, England, will be doing the London MoonWalk on the 19th May. The power walking marathon begins at midnight and the many, many thousands of women who take part raise millions of pounds for Breast Cancer Research.

In the meantime, Oliver is in Florida and raring to go. As the 2007 season kicks off, who would be prepared to bet against a third, consecutive GT1 title? One thing is sure, it will be a close-run battle all the way.

-credit: fm/og

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Johnny O'Connell , Oliver Gavin , Olivier Beretta
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing