24h Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans – Oliver Gavin retires from competition
Oliver Gavin (age 48) will bid adieu to his career as a professional racing driver after this weekend's Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The Corvette Racing team member triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times in the GT class.
Ending one's career is never easy for an endurance racing driver. Oliver Gavin, official Corvette Racing team member, confirmed his decision at the FIA WEC pre-race press conference for the first round of the 2021 season set for this Saturday at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The British driver took his rookie start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 at the wheel of a Saleen S7R (shared with Terry Borcheller and Franz Konrad) fielded by Saleen-Allen Speedlab in LM GTS. He claimed the third step on the class podium for his first outing. Gaving went on to win the race five times in GT (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2015), all with Corvette Racing. He also clinched five victories in the IMSA and triumphed at the 12 Hours of Sebring a stunning six times (2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2016).
Olivier Gavin: "It has been an immense privilege and honour to have worked with GM and Corvette Racing for the past 20 years, and with four generations of Corvette, we have shared an incredible amount of success together. As a factory driver, I immediately felt part of the Corvette family. It has been amazing to spend time amongst the most passionate race fans you could imagine, and feel their presence and support in North America, Europe and around the world. I thank every one of them for all their support and loyalty to me and the brand.
The belief my parents had in me and the unbelievable support they provided enabled me to pursue a career in motorsport, for which I will always be grateful. When I made my first journey across the pond to race in America my wife was expecting our first child. I could not have fulfilled my role as a Corvette driver without the unfailing love and support of my wife Helen, and our children Lily, Isaac and Fergus. Helen is my rock.
It’s been a huge pleasure and privilege to experience these amazing race cars on some of the most challenging and demanding race tracks in the world. You then put this together with some of the greatest races in the world, Le Mans 24hrs, Sebring 12hrs, Petit Le Mans, Daytona 24hrs…winning these races is truly career-defining. After 20 years of racing and competing for Corvette Racing, it’s time for me to fully transition into the next chapter. Chevrolet, Corvette and I have shared an incredible amount of success together and I’m delighted our relationship will continue through our work together at the Oliver Gavin Driving Academy. Sharing my passion, enthusiasm and experience of driving a Corvette is what helps shape OGDA."
This coming weekend, Gavin will take part in the last endurance race of his career at the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. He is set to share Corvette Racing's #63 Corvette C8.R with Antonio García: "It is wonderful to be back at Spa in the FIA WEC. The entire team has worked very hard these last three days to prepare for this race weekend. At the Prologue, we had two good days of testing. The level in the LMGTE Pro class is very high with Ferrari and Porsche."