corvette racing’s seventh wave
liver Gavin has been through every
iteration of Corvette racecar since the
C5-R – the car that dominated GT1 at the
start of the last decade. So when he says
the C7.R is not just the best Corvette
racecar he’s driven, but the best racecar,
period, that’s saying something.
“I was blown away,” says the British
driver with four American Le Mans Series
GT driver titles and four class victories at the
24 Hours of Le Mans. “It was phenomenal
the way it all just seemed to fall into place.”
It’s a natural expectation for a racecar to
improve with each generation – and from
race to race and season to season when
continuing with the same platform. But
Gavin believes Corvette Racing has made
a huge leap forward with the new car.
“I’ve now been involved with four
brand-new cars that Pratt & Miller have put
together where I’ve been there to drive
them for the very first time. The C7.R is the
one that ticks all the boxes for me. Whether
it’s the ability to put the power down off the
corners, or the way it rides the bumps and
handles certain points of the track…it gave
me confidence immediately,” Gavin says.
Gavin’s comments illustrate that it’s
not just all-out speed that makes a great
racecar, especially in endurance racing.
How comfortable and confident the driver
is at 4 a.m. in the rain at Le Mans – that’s
where a car really shines or falls on its face.
“I felt comfortable and happy in the
C7.R pretty much straight away,” he says.
“The lap times seemed to come and we’re
pleased with the performance. I know
how other first-time runs have been and
this was easily the best one. That’s my
reason for being so buoyant when I
walked away from that first test.”
Oliver Gavin’s first impressions of the C7.R rate it highly.
the Driver’s view
Since making his
debut as third
driver in the 2002
– sweeping Le
Mans, Sebring and
Petit Le Mans in a
with the team –
Gavin has become
racer on the roster.
The 1995 British
switched to sports
cars in 2000,
quickly earning a
reputation as one
of GT racing’s
With four Le Mans
class wins and four
ALMS GT titles to
his name, Gavin is
still very much at
the top of his game.
“The C7.r is the car
that ticks all the boxes
for me. it gave me
Oliver Gavin puts the still-disguised
Corvette C7.R through its paces in
early testing at Sebring, Dec. 2013.