Oliver Gavin opens up about Bathurst, TUSCC and more


2015 Bathurst 12 HourSit down, relax and have listen to sportscar legend Oliver Gavin.  We were fortunate enough to sit down and have a long chat with Oli as we discussed Bathurst, the United Sportscar Championship, Daytona 24 and his appearance in the ADAC GT Masters.

Listen to the interview we had with Oli discussing his past career

We were able to chat with Oli on Saturday morning prior to qualifying.  It had been a difficult practice with many red flag periods – it led to a race with a record number of safety cars.  Oli takes a perpective on this – that “There is always plenty of action happening…you realise that so much can happen here in a heartbeat”

It is where racing experience comes into play and where people like Oli are in high demand.  With an awful lot of endurance experience and a few appearances on the Mountain, he knows how to get the car in a position for victory and bring the rest of the team around him to achieve this goal.  “You need to continue to concentrate on your job, whether it is driver changes, pitstops, lapping that slower car, watching that car in front, read it and using your experience…it is about getting that car to the last hour race hard and race to the victory”

The race wouldn’t go entirely to plan – while Oli was able to make his way during the first stint the car was forced to retire after 103 laps.

It wasn’t the first time this year that Oli hasn’t been able to fight for the victory despite having the pace.  After qualifying on class pole at Daytona, an unavoidable incident for his teammate eliminated them from the battle for victory.

Daytona was the start of a new season for TUSCC one that offers extraordinary competition.  As Oli said about Daytona – “You knew as soon as you drove out of the pitlane you’d be straight into it…up against world class drivers and if you made a mistake – coming out the pits, on your out lap or lapping a car, you’ll be punished for it.  It was 10-tenths for the whole 24 hours.”

It should be the start of a season where each race could be as close as that.  The BoP has been adjusted, bringing Corvette back in with a chance of victory and, importantly “The racing was fantastic.  Everyone had a chance to be there at the front battling for the lead and that is what you want to see”.

It is a important part of an important year for the TUSCC as they look to make the merger work and cement its place in the American sportscar scene.

The feeling in the paddock has improved over the past year and compared t this time last year, the place is a better place from both the inside and outside – “At the start of last year with the two series combining, there was a ‘them and us feeling’…this year, a lot of that has gone.  This year there is a far nicer feeling in the paddock.”

Oli also explored other racing series last year, including a couple of runs in a V8 Supercar but, importantly in the GT3 Callaway Corvette in the ADAC GT Masters.  An important series, Oli stepped in for Andreas Wirth and supported defending Champion Daniel Kelwitz – knowing the pressure of supporting a title bid.

Gavin has been part of the Corvette family for many years now and has been part of GT winning teams – “I feel very lucky to be part of it and long may it continue”

To hear the full interview with Oli Gavin, use the links below.

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By Sam Tickell,  February 2015

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