Burwell racer gears up for glory at famous Le Mans 24 Hours

Oliver Jarvis at King's Ely this week

Oliver Jarvis at King's Ely this week - Credit: Archant

Motor Racing Burwell’s Oliver Jarvis lines-up for the biggest race of his year this weekend - the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The 30-year-old is the sole British driver in the Audi squad following the retirement of reigning world sportscar champion Allan McNish – the Scotsman having won the annual Le Mans race last year.

Jarvis himself has twice finished in the top-three at Le Mans over the past two years and together with team-mates Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi, is hungry to climb on to the very top-step of the podium in the twice-around-the-clock marathon that sees Audi bidding for a 13th victory since the German manufacturer made its race debut in 1999.

He said: “This year’s Le Mans marks my fourth attempt at the 24 hours so despite missing both the Spa 6 Hours and the Le Mans pre-test, I feel I’m the best prepared I have ever been.

“I would have loved to have been able to attend both Spa and the pre-test. But I am extremely grateful to Audi Sport for giving me the opportunity to do the full GT500 championship in Japan.”

Clashing dates of the Spa 6 Hours last month and the Le Mans pre-test last weekend with the GT500 series, which Jarvis is contesting in Asia, prevented him from racing the latest hybrid-diesel Audi.

Despite missing these two events leading up to the twice-around-the-clock Le Mans race, Jarvis is no stranger to this year’s brand new R18 car.

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He said: “I’ve been involved in an extensive testing programme this year with the new Audi so I have been able to fully acquaint myself with it and of course the new regulations for 2014 that will play a key part in the outcome of races.

“For this year’s race I will be reunited with Marco Bonanomi who I raced with in 2012. Our car’s driver line-up is completed by Filipe Albuquerque who is racing at Le Mans for the first time.

“Despite Filipe’s inexperience at Le Mans, I am extremely confident we have a very strong line-up and can be in a position to challenge our two ‘sister’ Audi cars for the win and be in a position to record Audi’s 13th Le Mans victory.”

Audi has won the annual Le Mans race 12 times since the German manufacturer made its Le Mans debut but this year will face intense competition from Porsche and Toyota.

Oliver added: “I fully expect it to be the most exciting and hard fought LM24 that I have been a part of. I’m expecting a real battle between the three manufacturers to even replicate my past two podiums.

“Simply making the podium at Le Mans is a real achievement. However the dream has always been to stand on the very top step and when racing for a manufacturer like Audi, every year presents itself with a real opportunity to fulfil that dream.”

New regulations of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) force car manufacturers to use significantly less fuel than last year. For the first time, the amount of fuel and energy per lap – measured in megajoules – is limited.

Data for all cars is made available to the stewards of the meeting via telemetry in real time with violations of the regulations resulting in penalties.

The 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro car combines a four-litre turbo diesel engine delivering more than 537 horse power at the rear axle with a hybrid system with an output of over 230horse power at the front axle.