MOTOR racing can send a driver to stardom virtually overnight but it can also represent frustration and despair for many others. British Formula Three champion Oliver Gavin has experienced both within the space of a few weeks. On a high after winning the F3 title with Edenbridge Racing, Gavin was to realise what few drivers can only dream of - a drive in Formula One. He was offered a drive by the Pacific Team in Bertrand Gachot's car at the F1 Grand Prix at Adelaide last Sunday but it all turned bad less than 24 hours after he arrived in Australia. Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, maintain strict standards for any driver competing in F1. All competitors are required to have a super licence, a criteria Gavin thought he had met. 'I was granted a super licence in May to drive at Imola but in the end that didn't happen. I was told the licence I had was still valid by people who should know. 'But when I went to nominate for the race last Thursday [week] I was told by the FIA official John Corsmit that they had no recollection of my licence. 'By that time it was night in France and England so there was no way I could have got the licence issued at such short notice. I was totally demoralised.' It's not the first time Gavin has suffered a serious setback but shown his character and bounced back. Last year he was signed as test driver for Pacific after personally putting up sponsorship money but in the end did only five laps in the F1 car after the team struck financial problems and couldn't afford to test. But he put that behind him with an outstanding season this year in F3 where he came from off the pace to snatch the title in the final race of the year from fellow Briton, Ralph Firman who is also racing in Macau. Gavin is fortunate to be racing in Macau - his team have decided to scale down their F3 involvement next season and step up to F3000 which meant they did not budget for Macau. Realising his potential, Gavin was snapped up by the Toms Toyota Team and will race in the famous Camel colours which have been missing from Macau for a number of years. Gavin knows his way around the tricky 6.1-kilometre Guia circuit finishing eighth in 1993. He sees Macau as an opportunity to put the bad luck behind him and get himself back on the international motor racing stage. But Gavin knows it won't be easy: 'This car is new to me, the braking and suspension are completely different to the car I drove in England.' He only stepped into the car for the first time yesterday and it reflected in his times - two seconds off the pace set by German F3 champion, Norberto Fontana in the KMS Racing-San Miguel Dark sponsored car. Unusually tall for a single-seater driver, Gavin said Toms had done a great job setting up the cockpit to suit him. 'But the only real similarity with my car back in England is the Dallara chassis. We have a lot of work to do.'