Gavin drops the hammer for GTS pole

Former British Formula 3 Champion Oliver Gavin smashed the GTS qualifying record as he took class pole for the 69th Le Mans 24 Hours in a Saleen S7R

Gavin drops the hammer for GTS pole

The Englishman had already annexed the provisional pole during Wednesday's pair of two-hour sessions, but bettered the mark with a 3m52.849s flying lap in the first of Thursday's twin sessions.

Gavin, who is teamed with veteran Franz Konrad and Terry Borcheller in the Saleen/Allen Speedlab entry, was three seconds faster than the existing pole time set by Olivier Beretta in a Chrysler Viper in 2000.

"I knew that first lap was really a flyer," said Le Mans first-timer Gavin. "We felt that it was the right time to drop the hammer a little bit. I owe a debt of gratitude to Terry and Franz for working so hard all week to come up with the best set-up."

Two other Saleens are entered in the GTS class, and will start fifth and sixth.

Gavin is unlikely to start the race for the Speedlab team, with Konrad the favourite to drive the first stint.

"Franz has the wisdom to get out there and stick to the plan, whereas I might be getting a bit of the red mist with all those cars around me, so it's probably the wisest choice," grinned Gavin.

Gavin and his team mates were the class-winners of the Sebring 12 Hours in March for Saleen.

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