Jarvis on Mazda: IMSA championship destiny is “in our hands”

Oliver Jarvis believes Mazda can beat the Cadillac teams to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Prototype title, providing it overcomes its Sebring deficit.

Jarvis on Mazda: IMSA championship destiny is “in our hands”
Listen to this article

Oliver Jarvis and co-driver Tristan Nunez currently lie fifth in the points table, three points behind teammates Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito and nine behind leaders Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande.

There are four rounds left in the 2020 IMSA title battle – two 2hr40min races at Mid-Ohio (this weekend) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and the endurance events of Petit Le Mans (approximately 10 hours) and the much delayed 12 Hours of Sebring.

Jarvis told Motorsport.com that the Multimatic team can overhaul its opponents, provided there are no slip-ups and the Mazda RT24-P’s competitiveness relative to the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs remains as it has been over the past couple of seasons at the forthcoming tracks.

“If we’d have won last weekend, we’d be leading the championship,” said Jarvis referring to the #77 Mazda’s misfortune in the six-hour race at Road Atlanta. “In the end we were seventh.

“Nine points doesn’t seem a lot but when you have seven or eight competitive cars, it’s tough to make those back. We have to have a strong last four races to win the championship, but I believe it’s in our hands.

“The tracks we’re going to, we’re competitive at. My only concern is Sebring, where we ran earlier in the year and the Cadillac destroyed us. They had a clear advantage. We’ve been strong at Mid-Ohio at the past, we just showed we’re strong at Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca is usually a good race for us.

“Then it’s just a case of Sebring. I don’t like to talk about BoP [Balance of Performance] but hopefully we’ll have a chance to race the Caddys.

“Regardless, we just need to go out there and, being a 12hr race, you can make something happen. In IMSA you don’t have to be the quickest car; as long as you can stay on the lead lap and stay out of trouble, you’re always in with a chance of a result.”

Reflecting on a season so far, in which he and Nunez are seeking their first win, Jarvis said: “We’ve actually had a fantastic start to the year in terms of performance. We started out with second at Daytona which was massive, first time we ever finished the 24 hours, and then we followed that up with a second place at the Daytona 240.

“Then the last two races we’ve led and looked good for the win. In Road America the weather didn’t help us, just as we took the lead and pulled a gap, the heavens opened, got caught out by a SC. Then last [race] we had a comfortable lead and then we had an issue with the brakes, which was really disappointing.

“In terms of performance we should be leading, and it’s disappointing not to be. There are still four races to go, but certainly the issue last weekend means that we’re on the back foot.”

shares
comments
DPi drivers expect "wild" IMSA races with LMP3 cars
Previous article

DPi drivers expect "wild" IMSA races with LMP3 cars

Next article

GM restructures its motorsports operations with two new hires

GM restructures its motorsports operations with two new hires
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022