July 29, 2021

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

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 believes 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.

“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.”

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