Five-time Le Mans class winner Oliver Gavin has announced that he is calling an end to his racing career after this weekend’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Gavin announced during the Thursday press conference ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship season opener that he will step away from the cockpit after a multi-decade career to open a driving school in Germany.
His final race will see him team up with Antonio Garcia aboard the #63 Corvette C8.R in the GTE Pro class, a one-off final appearance after he initially stepped away from Corvette Racing after the 2020 season.
“Today I announced that this weekend’s race, my 204th with Corvette Racing, will be my last of my professional racing career,” said Gavin.
“As I transition out of the race car, I open a new chapter with the start of the Oliver Gavin Driving Academy based in Boxberg, Germany.
“I am delighted that my 20-year relationship with Chevrolet and Corvette will continue as I have 12 Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays on order. There’s more to come on this over the next few months as we get ready for our launch in October.
“As with everything, family is the most important thing. I can’t thank them enough for their support over the last 30 years, and their support as I move forward with this new role.”
Gavin began his motorsport career in the late 1990s, winning the British Formula 3 title in 1995. After a spell as a test driver for Benetton, he transitioned into sportscar racing and joined Corvette Racing in 2002.
The stint with the American manufacturer would prove to be the high point of his career. He took for American Le Mans Series titles, one IMSA title, five Le Mans class victories and further wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
His most recent appearance prior to this weekend’s six-hour enduro was with Vasser Sullivan Racing, driving one of their Lexus RC F GT3s at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“I’ve been extremely lucky,” Gavin concluded. “I’ve raced with some amazing teams: Edenbridge Racing when I was in Formula 3 and Fortec when I was in Formula First. But Corvette Racing has really shaped my career.
The people I’ve worked with there, amazing engineers, are just a great group of people. It’s just a family atmosphere that Gary Pratt brought, with Doug Fehan who was the program manager for so many years.
“And right through to the latest generation of drivers, the likes of Tommy Milner, my long-time teammate, Jordan Taylor, my great friend Antonio [Garcia] and Jan Magnussen.
“We had lots of great battles and also lots of great times, winning multiple times at Le Mans together. That’s probably the biggest highlight of my career: standing on the top step of that podium and winning three times in a row with the GT1 car against the great Prodrive Aston Martins.
“The fifth win at Le Mans was very special, getting that with Jordan and Tommy in the C7.R. Lots of great memories and I want to hang onto those and push that on to the Oliver Gavin Driving Academy, sharing those experiences with customers and get that passion over there.”