British driver Oliver Jarvis has described his addition to the Audi Motorsport line-up for the 12 Hours of Sebring as a “privilege”.
Jarvis, who will join double 24 Hours of Le Mans champions Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in the March 16 race will be making his debut in the race where Audi’s works team are making a guest appearance before returning to Europe for the start of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
However, while it will be Jarvis’ first experience of racing at Sebring, it will be neither his first time driving at Sebring International Raceway, nor at the 12 Hours. He explained to thCheckeredFlag.co.uk;
“I was fortunate enough to watch the race last year, my first ever race in North America, and I stayed on for a few days testing afterwards. However my time in the car was very limited so I will have a lot to learn before the race.”
“The track itself is definitely one of the more difficult tracks I’ve driven with Turn 1 and the last corner especially challenging. I did, however, really enjoy the track. It’s already well known that it is especially bumpy so this adds an extra challenge in setting up the car and also driving it for 12 hours.”
Jarvis, Treluyer and Fassler will drive one of two Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrids in the race, the sister car in the hands of Lucas di Grassi, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
The event – the 61st running of the 12 Hours of Sebring – will be the last to accommodate LMP1 cars such as the Audi, before it is subsumed into the new American sportscar series to be created by the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. That fact gives this month’s race greater importance to Jarvis personally, but also to Audi.
“It was important for Audi to say ‘good bye’ to the fans and to thank them for their support over the years,” said Jarvis. “Sebring has been an important part of Audi’s LMP1 programme, it began there is 1999.”
“It’s a privilege to be part of the Sebring line up especially taking into account that with the rule changes, this will be the last time that LMP1s will be able to run there,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to be partnering ‘Ben’ [Tréluyer] and Marcel [Fässler].”
Read the full theCheckeredFlag.co.uk interview with Oliver Jarvis as he prepares for his Sebring bow on Friday and find out what he’s expecting from both the race and the e-tron quattro as he readies to race the hybrid design for the first time.