A broken exhaust and a pit lane finish was not enough to stop Britain’s Oliver Gavin from scoring his best ever result at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as he secured 5th place in the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP.
Gavin, along with the rest of the Spirit of Daytona, knew that victory was highly unlikely due to the far superior speed of the Ganassi Racing BMW-Riley’s, but a top-five finish is a result that will please all involved.
Despite the odd technical issue here and there, the #90 remained on the lead lap for the majority of the 24 hours with a podium finish a real possibility. However, two hours from the end of the race, during Antonio Garcia‘s stint exhaust issues began to plague the team.
With fears that the engine wouldn’t last the distance, Garcia, followed by stints from team-mates Richard Westbrook and Ricky Taylor, nursed the car around for the next two hours, only to have it let go with just minutes until the chequered flag.
A very tired Gavin mentioned after the race that despite the issues, team spirit prevailed to produce a stellar performance from the team. “It was an up and down race and we were so close, but it’s my best ever finish here so I’m very happy.”
“We hung on right to the end and it just proves once again that you never give up in an endurance race. It’s not over till it’s over.”
It is highly likely that the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona will be Gavin’s last appearance at the event in a Daytona Prototype, as the 2014 race will see the Brit in an all-new Corvette C7.R in the merged Grand-AM/ALMS series. “It’ll be interesting to see how it will perform here at Daytona next year. It will be its race debut so it’s going to be not only spectacular but also a voyage of discovery for all of us.”
Gavin’s will next take to the tarmac with Corvette Racing at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 2013 American Le Mans Series season-opener.