Porsche always put me with the teams
that had to take me! I mean, when I drove,
I drove with [Porsche legend] Bob Wollek!
It’s a whole different age thing now. We
came in as the young ones, and now we
are like the oldest. It’s not like I’m really old
at 34, but since I started in sports cars,
there has been a whole new perception
– people started realizing that even young
kids can be very good endurance drivers.
OG I found the same thing when I got here.
Actually, one of the people who helped me
the most was James Weaver. He was a real
old-school sports car racer; he wanted to
race you hard on the track, but he also
wanted to have a beer with you afterward.
And Andy Wallace was the same. They’d
been down similar paths, maybe a bit
later in their careers than I had, but they
weren’t afraid to get me sorted. I spent a
lot of time with those guys, learned the
ropes of sports car racing.
Even when I joined Corvette Racing,
my approach was very much about
pushing hard and being quick all the time
and people telling me, “This is not a sprint
race. You have to understand this thing
has to last for 12 hours.”
I just kept on thinking, “Pratt & Miller’s
going to build a good car, it’s strong, it’s
going to hold together, so we can drive it as
hard as we can all the time to try and keep
the Ferrari behind us, or the Aston Martin.”
And that’s another interesting evolution
the two of you have witnessed. The days
of babying a car for 24 hours at Daytona
or Le Mans are long gone. Does that allow
you to tap into the open-wheel mindset
you brought into sports cars?
OG When you look at the competition, all
the bars have been raised. A lot of
younger guys are coming up and pushing
you hard, and the bar just kept getting
higher. Previously, the cars weren’t ready
to be driven at their limit all the time, but
that’s completely changed. I think the
drivers coming in today expect to be at the
limit every lap. To them, that’s normal.
Now, sports car drivers are assessed
on averages and what they’ve been doing
in a race. Take a practice session, or a
GT KING MEETS PROTOTYPE MEISTER
Oliver Gavin joined Corvette Racing in 2002.
Through GTS, GT1, GT2 and now GT guise, he and
his roster of co-drivers have taken 39 class wins.
Lucas Luhr joined Pickett Racing’s then-Aston
Martin-equipped LMP1 squad in 2011 and has a
60-plus percent hit rate with co-driver Klaus Graf.
Thru Circuit of the Americas round, 09/21/13
39 ALMS CLASS winS
fROM 105 StARtS*
16 ALMS P1 winS
fROM 26 StARtS*
GAVin CORVEttE LUHR PiCKEtt
(AbOVE, left to right) Celebrating
2013 12 Hours of Sebring Gt win
with co-drivers tommy Milner
and Richard westbrook; Gavin’s
Corvette C6-R; total focus.
(MAin) Gavin’s now the wise vet,
with Milner the new kid on the
block in the no. 4 ’Vette.