Gavin, Kuismanen and Salo Confirmed at Mad Croc Racing
Le Mans GT1 star and Corvette Racing stalwart, Oliver Gavin, is to make a welcome return to the European and World racing scene in 2010 competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship with the newly created Mad Croc Racing. He will be joined by Finland's Pertti Kuismanen, with Mika Salo standing in for Oliver Gavin at three of the ten events in 2010 when the British driver has prior commitments in ALMS for Corvette. The Mad Croc Racing team, which will run the Corvette Z06, is a result of a merger between the Belgian SRT and Dutch DKR Engineering FIA GT Championship teams.
The Northamptonshire, UK-based 37-year-old will be teamed with Pertti Kuismanen of Finland and the Mad Croc brand of energy products. Kuismanen has gained valuable experience in the competitive world of GT racing in recent years through participation in the Nordic GT, Belgian GT and FIA GT Championships.
Oliver will be re-uniting with team boss Patrick Selleslagh, with whom he drove so successfully at the Spa 24 Hours in 2009. The Corvette factory driver claimed the lead of the twice round the clock race just 15 laps after the lights went green and kept the SRT Corvette in contention for victory until the 22nd hour and an engine problem. For this season there will also a reunion between the four-time Le Mans GT1 class winner and three-time ALMS GT1 Champion with his 2007 Championship-winning chassis.
Due to a prior commitment with Corvette Racing in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series, the Briton will race in seven of the ten rounds of the new FIA GT1 World Championship. He will be unable to race at Abu Dhabi, Brno and the Nürburgring due to clashing events in North America, and will be replaced by former F1 driver Mika Salo at those rounds.
Oliver Gavin said of the deal: “I’m really pleased to be back with Patrick and his team again for the seven events, after having had such a good connection with him last year. It’s also wonderful to be back competing in Europe and I’m particularly pleased the first race of the year will be at my home track, Silverstone, as I haven’t raced there since 2007."
“I’m looking forward and am intrigued to see how the GT1 World Championship will evolve,” continued Oliver, “and it’ll be good to be racing against the likes of top line drivers such as Darren [Turner] and Tomas [Enge] – reprising our ALMS battles from a few years ago. I’ve never been to South Africa or Argentina before so it’ll not only be challenging to learn some new tracks again, but it’ll also be a really good way to finish off my racing year.”
Mad Croc is a privately owned holding company focused on everyday portable energy products for consumers, available as energy drinks, chews or gum. Mad Croc is experiencing hyper-growth rates by introducing innovative products that meet the needs of on-the-go consumers for convenient energy, any time. Each product is specifically designed to deliver the most energy achievable, so nothing seems daunting and everything is possible.