Corvette aces Gavin, Garcia relish unlikely Spa WEC partnership

Long-time Corvette stalwarts Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia are relishing the prospect of racing together in the same car for the first time at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa, after being competing teammates for over a decade.

Corvette aces Gavin, Garcia relish unlikely Spa WEC partnership

Gavin and Garcia amassed a combined 73 GT race wins for Corvette since they joined the GM programme in 2002 and 2009 respectively, but curiously never shared a car.

The chance of the two Corvette veterans teaming up seemed gone when 48-year-old Gavin ended his full-time career last year, but when Corvette decided to enter a car for Spa's opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season it turned to its two most experienced aces to form an unlikely partnership.

"When I was first spoken to about this opportunity to race at Spa, I had gone back to Antonio and he had asked if there was any chance that we could drive together," Gavin said.

"I'm really thrilled. We've become really great friends over the years. I'd been teammates with nearly everyone else but had never been teammates with Antonio.

"It's just a really great thing to share the C8.R with him. It's going to be special. We'll want to push as hard as we can for as strong a result as possible."

Entering a car at Spa provides Corvette with an opportunity to benchmark its C8.R against European GTE Pro competition ahead of the brand's return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in August.

Corvette decided to sit out last year's edition at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning it has yet to run its new mid-engined C8.R overseas.

"It's a nice idea to run this race at Spa to prepare for Le Mans," 40-year-old Garcia added.

"It's not just as drivers but the engineers and the crew… everyone will be up to speed on the WEC philosophy of racing.

"With all the rules and differences from IMSA, it's a good warm-up for Le Mans. It helps everyone clear their minds and be focused on being prepared, that's the main thing.

"I've been in the Spa 24 Hours twice and I just missed the podium my last time. I'm really looking forward to racing the Corvette at Spa."

Gavin added: "It's a track that I think will suit the C8.R, it'll be phenomenal to go there with the team and with such a great race car.

"It'll certainly make all the hair stand up on the back of my neck as I'm driving down the pitlane for the first time and taking it all in."

The WEC Spa 6 Hours starts on Saturday May 1 at 1.30pm CET, with practice and qualifying scheduled on Thursday and Friday. All sessions of the event will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv

shares
comments

Related video

PR1/Mathiasen enters Tech1 alliance for WEC debut

Previous article

PR1/Mathiasen enters Tech1 alliance for WEC debut

Next article

Alpine LMP1 gets hefty weight increase for Spa opener

Alpine LMP1 gets hefty weight increase for Spa opener
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Oliver Gavin , Antonio Garcia
Teams Corvette Racing
Author Filip Cleeren
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021