Oliver Jarvis signs up for Super GT programme with Lexus
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, January 31st 2014, 11:11 GMT|
Oliver Jarvis will dovetail his Audi programme with a Super GT campaign with Toyota brand Lexus.
The Briton, who will be confirmed with Audi for the Spa and Le Mans 24 Hours World Endurance Championship rounds imminently, will drive a Lexus RC F for the SARD team in the Japanese-based series.
Jarvis, who will share the car with Hiroaki Ishiura, told AUTOSPORT: "Audi has been fantastic about this and the precedent has been set with Andre [Lotterer] and Loic [Duval] continuing to race in Japan.
"They only see it as a benefit if their drivers are busy competing in a professional and challenging environment."
Jarvis, who raced in Japanese Formula 3 in 2007, explained that he had had contact with Super GT teams in the past, but he felt that the time was now right time to sign up for a programme in Japan.
"With new cars in Japan and the programme that I will have with Audi, it made sense to do it now, because if I didn't it would probably never happen," he said.
It is expected that Jarvis will test the new Lexus, which is powered by a four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged engine, three times before the opening round of the series at Okayama on April 6.
Jarvis, who replaces Juichi Wakisaka at SARD, is the only newcomer in the five-car Super GT line-up.
Fellow Briton James Rossiter will continue at the TOM'S team with Toyota WEC driver Kazuki Nakajima as team-mate
Reigning champions Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate will remain with the Cerumo team for the title defence.
Jarvis, who race an Audi R8 LMS in the United SportsCar Championship opener at Daytona last weekend, said the he expected to race one of the GT3 cars again this year.
"There are possibilities for me to do some more enduros, but Sebring and Petit Le Mans [rounds of the USC] both clash with Super GT races," he explained.
DID YOU KNOW?
Oliver Jarvis 'won' on his only previous Super GT outing in the Suzuka 1000Km in 2007? The Briton took part in practice and qualifying, but was essentially a reserve driver and didn't get behind the wheel of the winning Lexus SC430 shared by Andre Lotterer and Juichi Wakisaka during the race.