Jarvis targeting World Endurance Championship return

The #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing crew celebrated class victory at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans that was almost the overall win.
Credit: Joao Filipe Alves Beato/World Endurance Championship

Oliver Jarvis has turned his attention from the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018 to focus fully on his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign.

He does not have a full season drive in WEC this year, but the Brit was keen to express that he would still love to race in the world series.

Last season, Jarvis drove for Jackie Chan DC Racing along with Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent, nearly taking the LMP2 Endurance Trophy.

The trio put a 24 Hours of Le Mans class victory to their names which came close to being an overall victory after the LMP1-Hybrid cars all suffered failures throughout the race.

Two full seasons in the WEC, however, failed to give Jarvis a championship title in either LMP1 – when he was racing for Audi Sport – or LMP2.

He made his IMSA debut this year with Mazda Team Jost in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and will continue to race for the team in the remaining IMSA events this season.

The ex-Audi LMP1 driver explained that the burgeoning manufacturer involvement in IMSA’s DPi class was the aspect of the series that drew him to the American championship.

Although he has full season commitments to the WeatherTech SportsCar Chamionship, Jarvis has made it clear that he would love to combine WEC commitments into his 2018 race schedule.

“The ideal would have been to do IMSA and WEC, but it’s very difficult to do [both] full time,” he told Motorsport.com.

“But IMSA for me has just gone from strength to strength with the manufacturer involvement.

“That’s the biggest problem I see at the moment for WEC. I’m really pleased with the amount of P1 entries that have come along, but without the manufacturer involvement, for a driver there’s that instability.

“P2 is a fantastic category but every year you’ve got to find the budget to run the team, and the majority of the drivers are obliged to bring money, whereas you come here and you’re a professional and you’re paid.

“I certainly haven’t turned my back on the WEC – I had two amazing years full-time there and I’d like to think there’s a chance I might be back.

“I’m just seeing if I can make it work and if it’s the right thing for me as well – I don’t want to go there and just make up the numbers after such a great year last year.

“I want to go there and be able to fight at the front, whether it be a P1 or a P2.”

Jarvis has not ruled out a WEC return this season, proving that he still is happy to race in the series. He is still talking to David Cheng and Sam Hignett about a return, but as two of the five WEC events being held in 2018 clash with IMSA events, a schedule conflict cannot be avoided.

As Jarvis has already given Mazda his full commitment for IMSA in 2018 it is expected he would be forced to miss the WEC events: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and 6 Hours of Fuji.

“The relationship’s great and they’re [Jota] an awesome team. Many times I’ve compared them to Joest and I stand by that. So we have a fantastic relationship.

“I’m still talking to David and Sam and those guys, but they’ve first got to put their programme together and actually see what they’re going to do.

“But we can all be very proud of what we achieved together.”