Corvette aces Gavin, Garcia relish unlikely Spa WEC partnership

Long-time Corvette stalwarts Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia are relishing the prospect of racing together in the same car for the first time at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa, after being competing teammates for over a decade.

Corvette aces Gavin, Garcia relish unlikely Spa WEC partnership
Listen to this article

Gavin and Garcia amassed a combined 73 GT race wins for Corvette since they joined the GM programme in 2002 and 2009 respectively, but curiously never shared a car.

The chance of the two Corvette veterans teaming up seemed gone when 48-year-old Gavin ended his full-time career last year, but when Corvette decided to enter a car for Spa's opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season it turned to its two most experienced aces to form an unlikely partnership.

"When I was first spoken to about this opportunity to race at Spa, I had gone back to Antonio and he had asked if there was any chance that we could drive together," Gavin said.

"I'm really thrilled. We've become really great friends over the years. I'd been teammates with nearly everyone else but had never been teammates with Antonio.

"It's just a really great thing to share the C8.R with him. It's going to be special. We'll want to push as hard as we can for as strong a result as possible."

Entering a car at Spa provides Corvette with an opportunity to benchmark its C8.R against European GTE Pro competition ahead of the brand's return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in August.

Corvette decided to sit out last year's edition at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning it has yet to run its new mid-engined C8.R overseas.

"It's a nice idea to run this race at Spa to prepare for Le Mans," 40-year-old Garcia added.

"It's not just as drivers but the engineers and the crew… everyone will be up to speed on the WEC philosophy of racing.

"With all the rules and differences from IMSA, it's a good warm-up for Le Mans. It helps everyone clear their minds and be focused on being prepared, that's the main thing.

"I've been in the Spa 24 Hours twice and I just missed the podium my last time. I'm really looking forward to racing the Corvette at Spa."

Gavin added: "It's a track that I think will suit the C8.R, it'll be phenomenal to go there with the team and with such a great race car.

"It'll certainly make all the hair stand up on the back of my neck as I'm driving down the pitlane for the first time and taking it all in."

The WEC Spa 6 Hours starts on Saturday May 1 at 1.30pm CET, with practice and qualifying scheduled on Thursday and Friday. All sessions of the event will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv

shares
comments

Related video

PR1/Mathiasen enters Tech1 alliance for WEC debut
Previous article

PR1/Mathiasen enters Tech1 alliance for WEC debut

Next article

Alpine LMP1 gets hefty weight increase for Spa opener

Alpine LMP1 gets hefty weight increase for Spa opener
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Prime

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
10 h
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Prime

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022