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Jarvis gunning for life-changing Le Mans glory

Oliver Jarvis
Oliver Jarvis

Oliver Jarvis has set his sights on finally capturing ‘racing’s biggest prize’ as the FIA World Endurance Championships heads to France for the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race this weekend.

In his five previous outings at the gruelling event, the Burwell driver has recorded two respectable third-place finishes and one fourth.

On top of that, Jarvis has picked up numerous big victories across the globe. But according to the man himself, those will be greatly overshadowed were he to be standing on top of the podium at the Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday.

“This is the greatest meeting in the world and it is certainly racing’s biggest prize,” he said.

“The World Endurance Championships is a huge competition, but it is hard to deny that every year the focus is on Le Mans.

“Winning it would change my career forever in a positive way.

“You become known all over the world. Racing in places like Japan, people will want to talk to you.

“It gives a driver so much credibility throughout the sport.

“The previous podiums at Le Mans are very special to me, as are all the wins, but finishing first in Le Mans is what I have worked all my career to do.”

While good fortune has a role to play in any Le Mans triumph, one thing that Jarvis and his fellow Audi R18 co-drivers Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval will take into the 84th edition is positive form.

The trio won the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamp in May and earlier this month clocked the fastest time at the Le Mans testing day.

With those performances in mind, Jarvis believes that he finds himself in a stronger set-up than ever before.

“You could probably say that this is the perfect time for us,” added the 32-year-old.

“It was a great result in Spa and the testing performance was very strong.

“We cannot afford to take anything for granted, though, because you always need that bit of luck.

“In the past I have been unlucky with early incidents that have left the team playing catch up.

“But, I have so much confidence in my team-mates. In that respect, we could not be any stronger.”

As Jarvis hopes that it will be a case of sixth time lucky, much of the focus will be on another familiar face.

Sir Chris Hoy, who won six Olympic golds in cycling for Great Britain, will be making his debut for the Algarve Pro Racing team.

Some have viewed the Scot’s presence on the grid as a publicity stunt, but Jarvis has welcomed his involvement.

“It is fantastic, especially for him because motor racing is his passion,” said Jarvis.

n Red Lodge’s Rob Huff narrowly missed out on a podium place in the latest round of the World Touring Car Championship, finishing eighth and fourth in Russia.