OLIVER GAVIN LINING UP FOR A BUSY RACING YEAR The flag is ready to drop for the start of a busy racing year for Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin. Not only is the four-time Le Mans and three-time ALMS Championship class-winning driver about to...
OLIVER GAVIN LINING UP FOR A BUSY RACING YEAR
The flag is ready to drop for the start of a busy racing year for Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin. Not only is the four-time Le Mans and three-time ALMS Championship class-winning driver about to leave his home in Britain to head to Sebring, Florida for the American Le Mans Series season-opening 12 hour race, but he's also approaching the final stages of training for April's Virgin London Marathon.
On the bumpy and physically punishing former airfield circuit, Oliver, 37, will be sharing the cockpit in the once-round-the-clock race on Saturday, March 20 with his long-time driving partner, Olivier Beretta of Monaco, and new team mate, Emmanuel Collard of France.
"Manu is very, very experienced in international sports car racing, but obviously new to us this year," notes Oliver. "We've done some testing all together now and I'm really excited about the season ahead as I think he'll fit in really well; it's a bit of a battle to get the two French speakers to remember to speak English all the time but that's the advantage of being in an English-speaking team!! Manu is fast and careful and those are the most important areas in endurance racing. You've got to have the edge on your competitors in terms of speed, but also got to keep it on the track as it's such a long race."
Preparing for such an arduous event has tied in well with Oliver's preparations for entry into the 2010 London Marathon. He has been instrumental in gathering together a team of 14 of Britain's best young racing drivers, all members of the British Racing Drivers' Club, to run and raise money for the CLIC Sargent children's cancer charity. Amongst the runners are three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx, Le Mans winner Guy Smith, 2009 FIA GT2 Drivers' Champion Richard Westbrook and Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner.
Oliver, a veteran of several marathons, has set himself a personal target of running the 26.2 miles in less than three hours, and has been pounding the streets, lanes and Northamptonshire countryside in training for his forthcoming challenges in and out of his Corvette C6.R GT2 car.
"The Sebring 12 Hours is a very physical race," continues Oliver, "and you need a lot of endurance to be fully focused throughout. The same qualities you need to get through a marathon. At Sebring, it's not just the race itself, but also the week leading up to it as there are lots of practice sessions each day, including night practice, as well as many other off-track events. It's one of the hardest sports car events of the year -- very bumpy with lots of fast corners, and it's usually burning hot in that Florida sun. After 12 hours of racing round there, you know you've been in a race; you have to be fit and mentally prepared. It's going to be super-competitive in the GT class as everyone has upped their game for this season and are out to win top honours. I think you're going to see cut throat action from the first green flag onwards, and I don't think I've looked forward to a season as much as this one for a long time. It's going to be fantastic!"
-source: oliver gavin PR