Legendary Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin is calling it quits on a spectacular career this weekend, but not before one last race with the Corvette team.
Gavin stepped away from the Corvette Racing lineup after completing last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in North America. He then joined Vasser Sullivan Lexus GT Daytona IMSA squad for the Daytona 24 Hours in January.
Now, after 204 races with Corvette Racing, the 48-year-old Briton says he’ll bow out after one final competition with his old team, linking up with Antonio Garcia as his partner in a GTE Pro class Corvette C8.R in this weekend’s opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa.
Not that Gavin is giving up on Corvettes in general, though.
While making his retirement public, he also announced plans to open a driver academy in Germany, teaching others how to drive in mid-engine Corvette Stingrays.
“As I transition out of the race car, I open a new chapter with the start of the Oliver Gavin Driving Academy based in Boxberg, Germany,” he said. “There’s more to come on this over the next few months as we get ready for our launch in October.”
Reflecting on his 30-year career as a driver, Gavin says his biggest achievements have been five class wins at Le Mans with the Pratt & Miller Corvette Racing team.
“Most probably the biggest highlight of my career is standing on the top step of that podium,” he said, “winning three times in a row there with the GT1 car [in 2004-06] against the great Prodrive [which ran Ferraris in ’04 and then Aston Martins].”
He also deemed his fifth win at Le Mans in 2015 with teammates Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor in a C7.R as “very special.”
With “lots of great memories” of the Corvette Racing team in his back pocket, Gavin says he now wants “to carry that on through the Oliver Gavin Racing Academy and share those experiences with Corvette customers and share my passion.”
Gavin’s long career began in 1990 with a winter series campaign in the British Formula First category. The next year, he became the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver winner after capturing the national championship in the starter formula. He also won the British Formula 3 Championship in 1995, then competed in Formula 3000 and the DTM before the Corvette Racing team lured him aboard after he took the GTS class title at the Sebring 12 Hours with the Konrad Saleen team in 2001. At first an endurance driver for Corvette Racing, he joined the full-time lineup in the American Le Mans Series in 2004, going on to claim the ALMS GT1 class title three consecutive years, from 2005-2007.
You can watch Gavin’s final run on a live stream on Motorsport.tv, with the WEC Spac 6 Hours slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. CET on Saturday. Practice and qualifying are slated for today and Friday.
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[VIDEO] Oliver Gavin Leaves A Smokey C8.R Salute to the Fans at Sebring
Chevrolet Salutes Oliver Gavin as He Concludes Full-Time Role with Corvette Racing