By Mark Robinson
MONTEREY, Calif. - A fixture of the Corvette Racing team for nearly two decades, Oliver Gavin will step back from full-time driving duties at the conclusion of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. The 48-year-old Brit has set the standard for the program, accumulating more race starts (201), wins (51), championships (five) and pole positions (24) than any driver in Corvette Racing history.
Among the extensive list of Gavin’s accomplishments are five wins each at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the Motul Petit Le Mans, and one victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"Certain drivers have earned legendary status throughout IMSA’s history," said IMSA President John Doonan. "Without question, Oliver Gavin has earned a place on the list of IMSA legends. He is synonymous with Corvette Racing and has achieved everything there is to accomplish at the top level of endurance sports car racing – from Daytona to Le Mans to Sebring and all points in between.
"IMSA is proud to have counted Olly as a longtime competitor and multi-time champion. Congratulations, Olly, on a phenomenal IMSA career and thank you for so many great moments you’ve given IMSA fans over the years."
Gavin joined the Corvette Racing program on a part-time basis in 2002 and was an overnight sensation, becoming a part of class-winning entries at Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans in that first year. He moved into a full-time role at Corvette in 2003, a position he will hold through this year’s season finale, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, next month.
"To have been with the same team for 19 seasons has been an immense privilege, and I thank from the bottom of my heart each and every person who has shared that journey with me," Gavin said in a statement released today by Corvette Racing. "It’s been an amazing run, and I’ve been very lucky to have been able to drive at such a high level for so long.
"I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved together, especially the championship wins and milestone victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, among others. I’m also very proud of the part I played in developing four generations of Corvette race cars for both IMSA and at Le Mans, and I look forward to exploring opportunities to represent Chevrolet and Corvette Racing in the future."
Gavin was instrumental in Corvette’s racing development, from the C5-R version through the new mid-engine C8.R that is dominating GT Le Mans (GTLM) competition this season. Corvette Racing has won six of the eight races to date this year and its cars sit 1-2 in points. Gavin and No. 4 co-driver Tommy Milner won the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring in July and trail No. 3 Corvette teammates Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor by 28 points heading into Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
"All of us at Chevrolet thank Oliver for his nearly 20 years of contributions to Corvette Racing," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, Performance and Motorsports. "No driver at Corvette Racing has started more events, captured more championships or won more races. Oliver’s success has brought great improvements over the years not just to Corvette Racing, but also to every Corvette that sits in an owner’s driveway. We are hopeful of creating more of those opportunities with Oliver into the future."
Corvette Racing will announce its 2021 driver lineup at a later date.