Oliver Jarvis says Audi factory LMP1 debut at Spa will be vital preparation for Le Mans

Oliver Jarvis says he is treating his debut in Audi's factory sportscar squad at Spa next weekend as a learning experience ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours

Oliver Jarvis says Audi factory LMP1 debut at Spa will be vital preparation for Le Mans

The Briton is racing as part of the German's squad's works LMP1 line-up for the first time this year, starting with the Spa 6 Hours. And Jarvis, who competed in the DTM from 2008-11, is looking forward to racing the Audi R18 ultra with Marco Bonanomi.

"I've been looking forward to my first run as an Audi factory driver at Spa for a long time," he said. "We've got a new car and I'm forming a new driver team with Marco.

"There's a lot to learn for us at this race that we're using as a test for Le Mans. But that doesn't mean that Spa is not important as a single race.

"We obviously want to battle for a podium place but as a relatively new member of the sportscar family I know I've still got a lot to learn."

Jarvis and former Audi reserve driver Bonanomi will be joined by Mike Rockenfeller at Le Mans, but the German cannot race at Spa because it clashes with the DTM race at Lausitz. Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich believes that the newcomers will benefit from racing as a two-man team in Belgium.

"For Marco and Oliver, Spa has the positive effect that as a team of two they have the chance of driving more race kilometres than the teams of three drivers," Ullrich said. "So Spa is an important premiere for them."

Team Joest technical director Ralf Juttner added that Audi was disappointed by Toyota having to delay the debut of its TS030 racer after a heavy crash in testing.

"Everyone is looking forward to Spa," he said. "The preparations are underway but the event will be a huge challenge for us.

"Toyota, unfortunately, will be missing Spa, which is really a shame. We'll only be meeting with our competitor at Le Mans, but there are many other good cars in the field."

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Series WEC
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Author Glenn Freeman
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