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

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

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