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Pushing to the limit

2 years ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


23 June 2022

Steering is usually the first thing we learn how to do. Whether it is sitting on a lap and working an actual wheel or simply picking up a plate, frisbee or frozen pizza, the action of rotating a circle is pretty much square one for car control. As such, I’ve been steering for a while now. But I learned something new the other day.

I was at the freshly-formed Oliver Gavin Driving Academy which has been set up in Germany. Ollie retired from racing last year and this is part of a new venture with Corvette which will involve various levels of instruction and also travel packages to races. I’ve known Ollie for some time and never grow tired of hearing him explain technical aspects of race craft or car set up. He has one of those minds that seems able to calmly dissect and disseminate incredibly complicated information in a way even a CBeebies audience could probably understand.

To listen to him talk about the challenges of getting tyres to switch on at differing times of day at Le Mans or which cars have strengths in particular areas of particular corners at Sebring or how it feels to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona by 0.034sec from your teammate is fascinating. And he says it all with modesty. I’ve heard people make more hullabaloo about that time they got a prime spot on a campsite at Le Mans than Ollie does of winning the race (he has five GT class victories to his name).

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