V8SC: Increased Commitments Rule Oliver Gavin Out of Pirtek Endurance Cup

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Cameron McConville will co-drive alongside Nick Percat in all three of this year’s Supercars enduros following a forced changed for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport. (Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport)

British GT driver, Oliver Gavin was originally confirmed to partner Percat at Bathurst and the Gold Coast, while a clash of race dates with Gavin’s factory Corvette Racing team saw McConville earlier this month announced to fill the co-driver’s role at Sandown.

But a previously unforeseen, three-day manufacturer tyre test for Corvette Racing scheduled recently now also conflicts with the Gold Coast race, meaning the five-time Le Mans 24 Hour class winner would only be available for Bathurst.

After notifying Percat and team owner Lucas Dumbrell of the latest clash, Gavin has subsequently withdrawn from what has become his annual Supercars enduro campaign.

Percat is disappointed not to again be sharing his Commodore with the co-driver he finished on the podium at Bathurst with two years ago, but understood Gavin’s priorities and appreciated his professionalism.

“When the tyre test was scheduled, Oli immediately knew he couldn’t put his best foot forward in just one race. He’s professional and knows what’s best for me and LDM, and we understand where his priorities lie,” Percat said.

“Obviously we’re disappointed Oli’s not able to race with us, but we’re also pleased Cameron is able to step in.

“Cam and I have been close since we were both co-drivers at the Holden Racing Team, he’s a quality, race winning driver and we know he will do a great job.”

McConville said while the call-up for Bathurst and the Gold Coast was unexpected he welcomed the opportunity.

“Last month I was just carrying the oranges, but now I’ve come off the bench and am in the game – it’s all unexpected, but I’m excited,” McConville said.

“I was happy to co-drive with Nick just at Sandown, but Oli’s Corvette commitments take priority and it’s opened up a welcome opportunity for me.

“My intentions were to see how Sandown went before throwing my hat into the ring for a full enduro campaign next year, but that’s changed. I’ve kept sharp racing other categories, as well as having some laps in Nick’s Commodore. I’m confident I can do a good job for [team owner] Lucas, Nick, and the team.”

The Wilson Security Sandown 500 takes place at Sandown Raceway on 16-18 September, with Australia’s great race, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mt Panorama on 6-9 October. The Pirtek Endurance Cup concludes with the Castrol Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise on 21-23 October.

CREDIT: Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport

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