THE RUN UP TO LE MANS For a man who competes in marathons for fun, a few hills would seem to present no problems. But, says Oliver Gavin, "These hills in Cornwall [South West England] are certainly keeping me fit -- I've been running up and...
THE RUN UP TO LE MANS
For a man who competes in marathons for fun, a few hills would seem to present no problems. But, says Oliver Gavin, "These hills in Cornwall [South West England] are certainly keeping me fit -- I've been running up and down a lot of cliffs and it's been no picnic! I run a lot as part of my general fitness programme, but it's nearly all on roads or in reasonably flat countryside. This is a new challenge, but a few days here with my family is, for me, the ideal preparation for the busy weeks to come -- hills or no hills.
"I can't wait for Le Mans week to begin. It's the biggest event of the year and I love all of it. The build up, the test day, the preparation -- it's a real motor sport extravaganza.
"From my point of view it's going very well at the moment, but I know that part of that is that I'm very fortunate to be with such a good team as Corvette Racing and have such fantastic team mates. All the right bits and pieces that make things work are falling into place at the moment, but the biggest goal now is to go and win Le Mans again.
"It was great to win at Sebring in March because it had become a bit of a monkey on our back. We'd lost to Aston Martin there last year and it's really our home patch so it was good to bounce back. Things are now hotting up nicely for Le Mans. It's all set for an epic battle between us and the Astons in France.
"Olivier and I both are looking forward to being back driving with Jan [Magnussen] who has been keeping busy since Sebring driving in the Grand Am series. It's always a pleasure to drive with him and he's a great team mate. We are all hoping to continue our winning streak to take our third GT1 win in a row, plus keep the overall number of wins going that started last year (8 consecutive ALMS wins).
"Everyone in the team is going into Le Mans very buoyant and confident but we are aware that there will be a big challenge from the Aston Martins as we hear they'll have a very competitive package for Le Mans. There will also be a number of other teams capable of challenging us including the Cirtek Aston and the ACEMCO Saleen which has been out of the limelight recently preparing for this event. That could be a dark horse.
"From a personal point of view, Le Mans is a favourite because my family come to the race. I'm bringing a motorhome for all the family and it will be really nice to be able to see them all when they arrive just before the race weekend. My father and brother are coming as well as my wife and children, plus a few close friends, so I'm really looking forward to it. Let's hope we can give them all something to cheer about."