Jarvis to make Le Mans Debut in “Customer” Diesel R10 TDI
Britain’s Oliver Jarvis will make his Le Mans 24 Hour endurance sportscar race début at the wheel of a diesel-engined Audi next month (12-13 June).
The 26-year-old from Burwell, Cambridge, drives an Audi R10 TDI alongside Christian Bakkerud (Denmark) and Christophe Bouchut (France) – a car that scored a “hat-trick” of wins in the twice-around-the-clock French race between 2006-08 – for the Audi “customer” team Kolles.
“It will be a huge honour to compete at Le Mans driving an Audi,” confirmed Audi DTM “factory” driver Jarvis.
“I’m fully focussed on the DTM but in the future the sports car category, and in particular Le Mans, is what I would like to be involved in so this opportunity, although coming very late in terms of this year’s event, will be a valuable experience for the future.”
Jarvis will face stern competition from the three-car “factory” Audi and Peugeot teams utilising the latest diesel technology compared to his R10 TDI that made its début in 2006 and which Oliver has only raced on two previous occasions in two races held on consecutive days at Okayama in Japan.
Oliver continued: “I raced the Audi R10 TDI for the first and only time in two Asian Le Mans Series races at Okayama last year, finishing third and fifth in the three-hour races, but racing at Le Mans will be a massive challenge for me. It will be a completely new experience because the races in Japan were staged on a short, twisting track which is completely different to the ultra-fast, flowing Le Mans circuit.
“My aim for Le Mans will be to finish the race. The ‘factory’ Audi and Peugeot cars have taken a real step forward so it will impossible to fight with them while the petrol engined cars of Aston Martin, Oreca, Acura [Honda] and Rebellion will all be very quick so to make the top-10 will be a very tough challenge although the Kolles Audi cars achieved seventh and ninth positions last year.”
Jarvis has been competing in the DTM for Audi since 2008 after a career in single-seater “formula” racing and is eagerly looking forward to his first taste of the 8.47-mile Le Mans track.
Oliver added: “A number of Audi drivers have done both [DTM and sports cars] including of course Le Mans record race winner, Tom Kristensen, in recent years. I love racing so the more races I can take part in the better.
“Coming through the ‘junior’ single-seater categories, I didn’t follow Le Mans closely but after joining Audi, I soon realized its importance. I went to last year’s race as a spectator and that in itself was a great experience but to be racing there this year will be an absolute thrill.
“The track is extremely quick and looks very challenging – I can’t wait for my first taste!”
The Audi R10 TDI that Jarvis will drive is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre, V12 diesel engine and powered Allan McNish to victory in the 2008 Le Mans race – McNish becoming the first British driver to ever win the gruelling French marathon in a diesel-powered sportscar. Oliver is at Paul Ricard (France) this week testing the Kolles R10 TDI this week.