Oliver Gavin, driver of the No. 7 C7.R for Corvette Racing, is confident the first sprint race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, will end with him in the winner’s circle. The 1 hour 40 minute long event at Long Beach is the first short race of the season, with teams coming off a tough schedule of back-to-back endurance races between the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 6 Hours of Sebring.
Gavin says his “attacking” driving style is perfect for the demands of racing on tight and narrow street circuits. The 1.96 mile circuit at Long Beach is notorious for its unforgiving concrete walls, narrow layout and crowded pit lane. The course is one of the more daunting circuits on the TUDOR calendar, despite its picturesque waterfront location and beautiful palm-tree lined sections.
“I like all street circuits and I think it suits my attacking driving style. Sometimes that really pays dividends at Long Beach and I won there in 2012 with Tommy (Milner),” explained Gavin. “That was a great race for us and it was particularly nice to pass some cars and put some moves on people. You’re really driving as fast as you can without going beyond the limits (at Long Beach) because there’s no room for error and it’s too easy to send the car into the wall.”
The wide and comparatively long C7.R may struggle against some of the smaller cars on the TUDOR grid, such as the short-wheelbase BMW Z4 and mid-engine Ferrari 458 Italia, but Gavin is “sure the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R will be right there too,” racing along with them near the front of the pack. He also believes much of the race will rely on pit strategies, seeing as there is little passing room on the tight Long Beach track.
Keep an eye on Gavin’s No. 4 car as he and Milner fight for their second victory at California on April 18. Milner and Gavin are currently sixth in the series’ GT Le Mans class, but the pair has the opportunity to move up through the standings closer to their class-leading Corvette Racing teammates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia if they can pull out a win this weekend.