Record updated 19-Sep-06
Oliver Gavin is a British racing driver. He won the British Formula 3 Championship in 1995. He has also won his class at Le Mans three times.
One of the best sports car racers, Oliver Gavin has an impressive resume of victories and track records. Gavin and his Corvette Racing teammate Olivier Beretta won the 2005 American Le Mans Series GT1 championship on the strength of six victories, including five straight to close out the season. Joined by Jan Magnussen in endurance events, Gavin and Beretta won the GT1 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans for the second straight year.
A native of Cambridgeshire, England, Gavin began his racing career in karting in the '80s, competing in British national series. In 1990, Gavin moved up to single seaters and promptly won the British National Formula First Series in 1991, scoring 11 wins in 12 races. This remarkable season earned Gavin the prestigious McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year award. The following year he finished second in the British Formula Vauxhall Championship. In 1993, Gavin moved up to the highly regarded British Formula 3 Championship and finished as runner-up in the drivers championship.
In 1994, Gavin competed in the FIA International F3000 championship. Returning to British Formula 3 in 1995, he dominated the series with six victories and won the championship while also working as a test driver for the Pacific Formula 1 team. In the late '90s Gavin competed in the International Touring Car series as a factory Opel driver while also working as a Formula 1 test driver for Benetton and Renault (1997-2005) and driving the safety car during the Formula 1 season.
In 2002 Gavin was named as the third driver for Chevrolet's Corvette Racing program. Teamed with Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, Gavin scored his first class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the trio swept all three endurance events in the GTS class (Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans). In 2003, Gavin was selected for a full season in the Corvette C5-R in the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to four record-setting pole positions, Gavin captured two GTS victories en route to finishing third in the drivers championship.
In 2004 Gavin posted his second class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with co-drivers Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen in the Corvette C5-R. The trio also won Petit Le Mans. Gavin and Beretta scored a total of four wins in the ALMS in 2004, and finished as runners-up in the championship.
2005 was a championship season for Gavin as he and Beretta shared the GT1 title with the new Corvette C6.R. The pair posted six victories in the 10-race ALMS series. Again teamed with Magnussen in endurance events, the trio won the GT1 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year and repeated as winners of Petit Le Mans.
When not racing, Gavin competes in marathon, biathlon and triathlon events. He resides in Yardley Hastings, Northampton, with his wife (Helen) and children (Lily, Isaac and Fergus).
- 1991: British Formula First champion (11 wins), McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award
- 1992: British Formula Vauxhall Championship runner-up
- 1993: British Formula 3 Championship runner up
- 1995: British Formula 3 champion (6 wins)
- 1996: Competed in International Touring Car Championship (Opel)
- 1997: Competed in International Formula 3000 Championship
- 2000: Competed in Grand-Am Championship (Lola)
- 2001: One ALMS win (Saleen); two Grand-Am wins (Lola), won GTS pole at 24 Hours of Le Mans (Saleen)
- 2002: GTS winner in 24 hours of Le Mans, two ALMS wins with Corvette Racing (Sebring, Atlanta)
- 2003: Two ALMS wins with Corvette Racing (Atlanta, Trois-Rivieres), third in drivers championship
- 2004: GTS winner in 24 Hours of Le Mans, four ALMS wins (Lime Rock, Mosport, Elkhart Lake, Atlanta) with Corvette C5-R
- 2005: ALMS GT1 co-champion, 6 wins; GT1 winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans (Corvette C6.R)