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Gavin blasts Davidson for ending Corvette challenge

Oliver Gavin was left fuming after what he described as a risky lapping manoeuvre by the Peugeot of Anthony Davidson abruptly ended Corvette Racing's challenge for GT2 class glory in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours
Oliver Gavin has hit out at countryman Anthony Davidson for the manoeuvre that put the GT2 class-leading Corvette Racing ZR1 in the barriers on Sunday morning in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours – and ultimately led to the car's retirement with a blown engine not long after.

Along with team-mates Gavin and Olivier Beretta, Emmanuel Collard was comfortably in charge in GT2 aboard the #64 'Vette when the charging Davidson came up behind to lap him. As the Briton – on quite a mission following the earlier delay suffered by the #1 machine – went to pass, he appeared to edge the Frenchman wide, and the result was that the car that for the second year in succession had looked all-set for GT2 glory at La Sarthe ended up spinning into the barriers and receiving a fair degree of damage.

Having been repaired, the 'Vette rejoined the track in the hands of Gavin, but the 37-year-old did not get far, and with smoke beginning to pour out from the side of the car as he negotiated one of the chicanes along the Mulsanne straight – a direct legacy of the earlier Peugeot hit – the former British F3 Champion had no option but to pull aside and reluctantly accept defeat.

“They put us in the wall in the Porsche Curves,” he angrily told Crash.net after the retirement, “and there was a massive job to try and get the car fixed. The guys did an amazing job, but during that period the engine had got starved a little bit of oil, which did some damage to one of the valves. I came out of the second chicane along Mulsanne and I could tell it wasn't firing on all cylinders properly – and then it just went bang.

“It doesn't get much more disappointing than that. Last year we got to within two hours of the finish in the lead with everything going great, and this year it was all going well again and then the Peugeot did what it did and just stuffed us off.

“They know they shouldn't pass us in that corner, but still they go and do it because the pressure is so massive. Everybody has got to live on this circuit together and exist together, so it's frustrating when that sort of thing happens. We are racing and they are racing – and we have to stay on the circuit together.”
by Russell Atkins

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cn - Unregistered

June 13, 2010 11:28 AM

I'm also guessing Davidson has never driven a GT2 car either. Collard should just have taken the line instead of avoiding him. That would have wrecked Davidson's Peugeot as well and would also "serve him right"

Simon - Unregistered

June 13, 2010 3:55 PM

What you're forgetting is this happened in the Porsche Curves, which are both a) narrow, and b) fast. Collard would probably have been concentrating on getting the corners right, and not on checking the mirror. It was even mentioned by Eurosport's commentators that the Curves are where you only have time at the start of the first turn of the complex to check. The speed the LMPs (especially the diesels) are going means that there may be one behind you even if you didn't see one when you looked, so it's not surprising Collard may have missed it at first. And, because the area is so narrow, it makes it very difficult to pass, and Davidson misjudged it this time.

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