Young guns. It's a handy, even snappy, phrase to plonk in front of the names Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bonanomi, two drivers racing with the Audi factory team at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time this weekend. It's not an entirely accurate description given that they are both beyond their mid-20s and sharing a car with a driver, in Mike Rockenfeller, who is less than 18 months older but already a winner of the French enduro.
Yet Jarvis and Bonanomi are, most definitely, part of a new guard within the German manufacturer's sportscar squad. They have been plucked from elsewhere in Audi's motorsport empire and both know they have the chance to become the next Allan McNish or Rinaldo Capello some time down the line.
Jarvis, in fact, name checks three-time Le Mans winner Capello rather than fellow countryman McNish when he talks about his aspirations on joining Audi's sportscar squad.
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.
Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 25th as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 60 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.
Gary, who also writes for RACER, Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.