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Gavin gives C6 thumbs up

Chevrolet Corvette star Oliver Gavin has given the new Pratt & Miller developed C6 GT1 ALMS challenger, unveiled last week at the Detroit Motor Show, a resounding thumbs up after testing it for the first time at Sebring

Gavin gives C6 thumbs up

The British sports car ace, speaking at the Autosport International Racing Car Show at Birmingham's NEC on Friday, said although the car is totally new, it bears several hallmarks from GM's highly successful Le Mans 24 Hours and ALMS title winning C5.

"The car is very strong," said Gavin. "It's very good. You can tell it's a Pratt & Miller GM Racing Corvette. It carries over some of the characteristics of the C5. I instantly felt at home in it. It's hellishly noisy and incredibly hot inside! It just shakes you to bits and blasts you away. But it's a huge amount of fun."

The car, which will run in the GT-1 class of the 2005 ALMS series as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours, has been testing in hybrid form for several months, but this week's roll-out was the first test of the C6 proper.

"This is the car that we launched with in Detroit, with all the little bits that we worked on, and this is the car that we tested at Sebring.

"We had two days at the beginning of this week and we've got another three days testing at Sebring again at the beginning of February, and then there is the race week at Sebring where we will be doing more testing. There will be on-going aero work, simulation work and damper work. It's all on-going and full steam ahead.

"There is no let up on this. The boys at Pratt & Miller are flat out on this thing. Their one aim is to make sure that we turn up with a competitive car."

Gavin suspects however that the new car may not be that much of an improvement over the C5 given that the ACO has tightened up the regulations to limit the performance of GT1 cars.

"The ACO has been really quite strong with this car in what we can have and what we can't have and I think the rules and regulations have been tightened up in GT1 now," said Gavin. "Some of the things we could get away with before we can't now.

"Now we are under an even tighter rein by the governing bodies. It's going to be a tough year, because we are going to be up against the likes of Saleen (now on the Michelin tyres), against Aston Martin and Prodrive and they know exactly what they are doing. It's going to be an entertaining season."

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