With the potential of a slight power unit difference between the two Audi Sport R18 SportsCarGlobal.com (SCG) took the opportunity to speak with Oliver Jarvis (OJ) on his thoughts for the race and the potential to challenge a seemingly dominant Porsche performance.
SCG – How does a lad from Cambridge end doing what you are doing in the Audi LMP1 Programme?
OJ – To be honest, I owe it all to my father, he had a career in motor bikes but always wanted to move across to cars and he eventually did so later in life. When I was young I did motocross, and there were a lot of accidents which gave me the opportunity to go go-karting, I then had to make a choice, and I chose four-wheels over two. From there it progress to cars and all of a sudden you are making a career out of it.
SCG – In terms of today’s race, obviously a slight difference between the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s #7 and #8 with regards to the power unit limits on the #7 after Le Mans, do you see that having an impact?
OJ – No I don’t see that playing a role at all. The engines are designed to stay at a constant power output, and we limit each unit to a certain mileage because we know they are comfortable doing that mileage. So I don’t see the fact that the #7 does have as fresh an engine as the #8 to be an issue at all.
Our biggest problem is the Porsches look unbelievably fast!
SCG – Absolutely, surprisingly given the revised Equivalence of Technology, Fuel Metering etc…?
OJ – Yes, like you say there was a change in the EoT in our favour, it wasn’t huge and certainly it was not as much as we would have liked, but I think you have to give Porsche a lot of credit, they have come here with an update to the aero, quite an aggressive update and it is working. They are much further ahead than we had anticipated based on figures from Le Mans, I take my hat off to them, and it is now up to us to catch-up.
I think ourselves and Toyota are going to have a tough day in the office today.
SCG – Is there anything more there, anything left in the car with regards to race pace?
OJ – I’d love to say we were keeping a second hidden (chortle!) but its not the case at all. What you are seeing is the really pace. In Free Practice Three we were a second off Porsche and in Qualifying it was a similar amount. I would have said based on previous races we would expect the long-runs for ourselves to be much closer. Unfortunately, it looks like Porsche have got a handle on their tyre degradation problem, they had already at Le Mans and now based upon their long runs on Friday.
SCG – There has also been a break for LMP1s on tyres too allowing 8 sets to be used?
OJ – That as well, and with the tyre degradation for everyone here, I would assume everyone will single stint tyres. So it is not like we would get a benefit anyway from a double stint as we no longer have an advantage over them in that area anyway and that is since Le Mans. It will be a tough one to beat them tomorrow.
SCG – Finally, what do you know of Audi plans for 2016?
OJ – Wow! We are not even halfway through this season! From my side, I hope to continue with the same team-mates. That is one thing Audi is known for keeping a driver line-up and continuity, but believe it or not since I have been involved the way things have worked out I have never had the same driver line-up two years running, so I would love the opportunity to stay but I guess it is up to all three of us guys to do a good job and put ourselves in that position for next year.
SCG – As a local to Cambridge I certainly hope that continues for you. Good Luck!