1991 OLIVER GAVIN

Autosport (UK) - - MCLAREN AUTOSPORT AWARD -

OTHER FI­NAL­ISTS Dario Fran­chitti, Jonathan Mc­gall, Dino Morelli, Guy Smith, Jamie Spence He says: “I se­cretly had a Class B For­mula 3 test a cou­ple of weeks be­fore­hand to try and get an idea – I know the other guys did some­thing sim­i­lar. The test was at Don­ing­ton Park and the fo­cus was on the sin­gle-seater. I nearly crashed the F3 car on the first lap down the Craner Curves, com­pletely side­ways. It really caught me out and I thought it was all over, but I man­aged to gather it to­gether.

“On the Awards night the nerves were un­bear­able. One of the things I learned from it was how to deal with my nerves – I’d never been up for any­thing that big be­fore and it was awarded by Ayr­ton Senna, my hero. Win­ning it was one of the big­gest things that’s hap­pened in my ca­reer.

“The F1 test was at the end of 1993 at Sil­ver­stone, on the Na­tional cir­cuit in the cold and rain. Steve Hal­lam was run­ning the test and he got a huge man­ual out on how to drive the car – it was page after page be­cause it was the ac­tive car with all the tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing trac­tion con­trol. I was in com­plete over­load on page one!

“I don’t think I got any­where near the limit of the car. I was so scared I was go­ing to hurt the car, I was out of my depth. It was still a big day, but win­ning the Award was the big thing for me. The ku­dos that came with it and the doors it opened were really im­por­tant and I still get asked about it now.” WHAT HAP­PENED NEXT Won the 1995 Bri­tish F3 ti­tle, then forged a GT ca­reer with Corvette Rac­ing, tak­ing five class wins at Le Mans

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