Motorsports

Jarvis has less than 50 per cent chance of 2023 IMSA enduro drive

Jarvis and teammate Tom Blomqvist beat Wayne Taylor Racing duo Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor in an all-Acura battle for the championship this year with victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the season-closing Petit Le Mans.

However, the British driver won’t get a chance to defend his title at the start of IMSA’s GTP era, with his place in the team being taken by 2014 Daytona winner Colin Braun.

It is understood that MSR failed to take up its option on Jarvis’ services by the allotted time, prompting him to sign a fresh deal with United Autosports to remain in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023.

With two date clashes between WEC and IMSA next year, and the United deal taking precedence over any other contract, Jarvis cannot compete in IMSA full-time and is instead looking for a partial programme in the four endurance races at Daytona, Sebring Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.

Asked how confident he was of securing an enduro-only drive, Jarvis told Motorsport.com, “At the moment I’ll say probably less than 50% right now. “[I’m] certainly looking at it but it will need to be the right opportunity and there’s not many seats available at the moment. 

“So, I’m going to keep an eye on it. I’m still finalising my programme for next year but I’m happy with where I am at. I think I’ve got a good programme if everything comes off. 

“But [it] would be nice to do the endurance races, definitely. I love America, I love IMSA. So, if I could add that then it would be the perfect scenario.

“But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll keep an eye out. Things tend to open up and become available throughout the season or even for next year. It would be definitely nice to add that at some point.”

#60 Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Former Audi LMP1 and Mazda DPi driver Jarvis has raced in a variety of machinery over the years and even has some experience in grand tourers in GT1 World Championship and IMSA.

The 38-year-old said he has no preference regarding which of the five IMSA classes he would like to race in, stressing that the most important goal for him was to land a competitive seat.

“I’m open to all categories but it will have to be the right car with the right driver line-up,” he explained. “I don’t want to go run around at the back. 

“If I go there I want to go there with the chance to win it, whether that’s in DPi [GTP], LMP2 or even GTs. I’ve driven GTs before so that is certainly not out of the window, but it is the right opportunity with the right group of people.”

Jarvis also clarified that getting a full-time seat in 2024 is not of utmost importance while negotiating an enduro-only deal for next season.

“I’m just keeping my options open,” he explained. “If there is endurance driving going, that is certainly something I will look at. It depends.

“Let’s focus on 2023 first and ’24 will hopefully take care of itself. But a lot of things will change, there are more manufacturers coming in, drivers will move around as well. 

“For now my focus is solely on WEC in 2023 and if I can add a few more races as well that will be fantastic.”

Asked if there were any categories he would be interested in, the Briton said the European Le Mans Series was the only other championship he would be willing to consider.

“I think ELMS works as well. IMSA as we discussed before, the long races,” Jarvis said. “To be honest I haven’t looked much beyond that.”

Jarvis and Blomqvist will be reunited in the WEC next year, with the reigning IMSA champions sharing one of United’s two Oreca 07-Gibson cars in the LMP2 class with teenager racer Josh Pierson.


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