Oliver Gavin was able to walk away from a high-speed accident during the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America, with the Briton crashing out of the race while leading the GT1 class.
The #4 Corvette was running ahead of the sister car in the hands of Jan Magnussen when the Briton went off at the high-speed kink, damaging the car and putting himself out of the race.
"Jan was behind me, I was pushing hard, and I was trying to make up some time," he said. "I just turned the car in too quickly and got on the inside curb; the car shot across to the exit curb, and then onto the grass. By the time I was on the grass, there was no way I could hold it.
"I'm all right, but I'm disappointed with myself for making such a mistake. It was a pretty big impact – of all the places to go off, the Kink is not the place to do it! The car did stand up extremely well to the accident. It looked like it was going to be close at the finish, but unfortunately nothing seems to be going right for us this year."
With only the Bell Motorsports Aston Martin for competition in the GT1 class, the victory was handed to Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell who extended their lead in the standings to 23 points as a result. However the race wasn't without its problems for the pair, with Magnussen having lost some time prior to Gavin's accident when forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop shortly after the half-way point of the race.
"I had a small problem and had to make a stop to have the crew check out the car," the Dane said. "We came in, made some changes, and the car was absolutely great when we went back out. Having done that, our strategy was that we basically had to run behind the No. 4 Corvette and then we could win with a short splash of ethanol at the end.
"The car wasn't great at the beginning of the race, but everything came to us. We made adjustments that gave us a good car at the end. Then unfortunately the #4 car had a bigger problem than we did."
Team boss Doug Fehan was pleased to secure another win for the Corvette squad and said the fact that Gavin had walked away from his shunt was testament to the work carried out by the team on improving safety.
"We managed to do three things today," he said. "First, we won the race, which was great for Corvette Racing. Second, we proved once again that safety is always paramount at Corvette Racing. It was an unfortunate accident for Olly, and while the car was damaged, the driver emerged unscathed. That's a testament to the importance we place on safety.
"We also provided a great deal of exposure for Champ Car by displaying their banner prominently on the front of the #4 Corvette after its encounter with the wall in the Kink…"