Britain’s Oliver Gavin has an enviable record at Le Mans; 15 times a competitor, eight podiums and five class wins. This year, Gavin again teams up with Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor, reuniting Corvette’s 2015 Le Mans-winning line-up.
The team’s Chevrolet Corvette C7.R will run the new 2016 aero and Michelin tyres combination at Le Mans for the first time and results from the test day show the fastest pre-race testing pace ever for the Chevrolet team.
BAM Promo took the time to grab a few words with Gavin on the run-up to this year’s race.
How is he feeling ahead of his 16th visit to the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
“Our whole year at Corvette Racing is geared up around this event. It’s huge for the team and for me. I love it when June comes around each year, although it represents an enormous amount of work and effort by all involved.”
What about the official Le Mans test, please with the results?
“We ran through the intended programme and were pleased with the results of the test day. Jordan (Taylor) only flew in from Detroit that morning after competing for Wayne Taylor Racing in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship. It was good for us all to be back together at Le Mans.
How did the 2016 Corvette C7.R run at Le Mans?
“It felt good. We were really pleased with the balance. It’s the first time that we have run the updated aero package in conjunction with the new tyres from Michelin, and I have to say the results were very satisfying. We ran the aero kit in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and it performed very well there, but we were on the low-energy Michelin tyres, so it was great to get to grips with the new package.”
What about the competition and who do you feel are the chief threats for victory?
“I see threats coming from all directions, pretty much. All the manufacturers in GTE Pro look very strong and the pace was fast from the start of the test to the end. You couldn’t take your eyes off the timing screens for a second, as different cars were posting faster sectors here, fastest laps there. It is going to be ultra-competitive, that’s for sure!”
The $64,000 question, what do you feel your chances are of achieving victory number six?
“We have a good chance; the test showed we have good pace, but we will have to see what the opposition was really doing. Some may have been driving to a delta time, others may have been laying everything on the line. We will only find out when we come back for the race. We have proven reliability, while others have new and untried cars at Le Mans, but everybody is focused on one thing – winning.”