Jarvis defiant after Audi’s withdrawal
It will be business as usual for Burwell’s Oliver Jarvis in Shanghai this weekend, despite learning Audi intend to leave the FIA World Endurance Championships (WEC) at the conclusion of the season.
The German manufacturer’s decision, which also includes the withdrawal from the Le Mans 24 Hours series, was rumoured to be on the cards at the end of next year when new regulations are due to be enforced.
However, they have instead made the cut 12 months early, opting to turn much of their attention to the Formula E Championship.
Nevertheless, with the Audi #8 team still in contention for the Drivers’ Championship heading into the campaign’s penultimate meeting in China, Jarvis insisted he and co-drivers Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi will be focused on bridging the 28.5-point gap to #2 Porsche out in front.
“The news is a real shame because as a team we have started to show what we are capable of,” said the 32-year-old.
“Given a little bit more time to gel we could have formed something special, especially at Le Mans.
“But right now all that matters is winning the next two meetings because we are still battling for the World Championship.
“We need to put in a decent performance in China and hope that the Porsche falls short.
“It will be the first time that the team has seen each other since the news broke so there is bound to be a bit of talk.
“But once that is done it is down to the main business and that is getting the victories we need.”
What 2017 has in store remains uncertain at present, but what is likely is that Jarvis’ association with Audi will come to an end.
A driver of such experience, he is set to attract plenty of interest and opportunities, but the Brit will not be rushed into a new arrangement.
“I am very lucky to have raced in a number of great series, many of which have been with Audi,” he added.
“I need to look at all avenues and importantly not rule anything out, certainly at this stage.
“All of a sudden a lot of great drivers are available and that will increase competition, but there is no panic.
“I have to do what is right for myself and my career going forward,”
After China, the WEC season will draw to a close with the Six Hours of Bahrain on November 19.