Oliver Gavin will be looking to make it a hat trick of victories in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship in 2016 this weekend at Long Beach as the Corvette driver looks to add to his Daytona and Sebring triumphs.
The Briton and long-term team-mate Tommy Milner will face stiff competition in the GT Le Mans class of the championship, with Gavin admitting people will be expecting another strong performance from the team following their victories in the opening two races of the season.
Gavin however remains cautious, especially with the Long Beach round being just 100 minutes long compared to the twenty-four hour Daytona race and the twelve hours of Sebring.
“After starting the 2016 WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship with wins at Daytona and Sebring, everybody will be expecting great things from us,” said Gavin.
“The reality is that Long Beach is such a unique challenge at only 100 minutes in duration that everything has to be perfect if you are to deliver a win. Mistakes are punished hard and good fortune is needed to get to victory lane.
“One pit stop, one driver-change and a tight street circuit means everybody has to be on their game from start to finish. Taking on fuel and changing tyres will take around 25 seconds and switching the drivers will take at least that amount of time, so the way Tommy (Milner) and I swap is going to be crucial.
“On-track we have to stay clean, as recovering from any misfortune is almost impossible, as we found in 2015.”
Gavin expects the Corvette team to face strong opposition at Long Beach from the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, and believes that Ford could make a challenge after their disappointments in the first two races.
“Last year, Porsche was very strong on the Long Beach Street Circuit and Ferrari seemed to have a well-balanced car too, so I am sure they will be the ones to beat again,” said Gavin.
“Traction out of the final corner is critical and Porsche seemed to master that in 2015. Ford will be keen to have a good showing after poor results at Daytona and Sebring, so I won’t rule it out, but we’ve had the winning car so far this season and I hope to be in the mix once again.”