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Audi pre-Daytona14 JarvisBritish Audi ace aims for perfect start to 2014 in “classic” 24 Hour race.

Oliver Jarvis gets his 2014 season underway this weekend (25-26 January) when the Cambridgeshire race ace bids for a second consecutive class victory in the Daytona 24 Hours.

The Audi Sport “factory” driver from Burwell near Newmarket, contests the Rolex 24 at Daytona aiming for victory in the twice-around-the-clock race first staged at the famous Florida venue in 1966.

Jarvis scored a stunning GT class victory on his Daytona debut 12 months ago while this weekend marks his eighth career 24 hour race.

“It’s great to be heading back to Daytona to try and repeat the win we achieved last year,” confirmed Jarvis.

“I loved racing at Daytona for the first time last year and am thrilled to be invited back as part of Audi’s customer racing programme.”

Jarvis races one of five Audi R8 LMS (GTD) sportscars entered for the race and shares the Illinois-based Fall-Line Motorsports entered car with Americans Charlie Putnam and Charles Espenlaub plus Jersey-based James Walker.

Daytona marks the opening round of the new TUDOR United Sportscar Championship with Jarvis only currently scheduled to “guest” for Fall-Line at Daytona.

Oliver continued: “It will be quite different this year with the race being run as part of TUSC after the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series.

“It means the race is being run to a different set of regulations to last year with the most significant change being the fact that each car must be shared by at least one amateur driver.

“This is the reason I’m not partnering with the same drivers I won with last year and I’m certain the rule will have a significant outcome on the result.”

Jarvis along with many of the near 70 car entry tested at Daytona earlier this month, the Fall-Line Audi recording the 16th fastest time in the 30-car strong GTD class during the three-day test – but less than a second adrift of the pace-setting GTD class car, the Flying Lizards Audi R8 LMS.

Oliver added: “Following the “Roar Before the 24” test earlier this month, I feel confident that Fall-Line is a strong team and that I’ve got very good co-drivers alongside.

“The level this year is extremely high and there are at least 15 cars in our GTD class that are capable of fighting for the class win. The key will be to stay out of trouble and be on the lead lap for the last four hours when it becomes a sprint to the finish.”

The 5.2-litre Audi R8 LMS sportscar forms Audi Sport’s “customer” racing programme around the world. The R8 LMS made its racing debut in 2009 and has won 23 championship titles and scored over 100 outright wins in races worldwide.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona is run on a 3.56-mile track combining the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield section. Most parts of the steep NASCAR banking are included, interrupted with a chicane on the back straight and a sweeping, fast infield section that includes two hairpins.

Official practice commences on Thursday with qualifying the following day. The race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 7.30pm (GMT).

Oliver Jarvis career 24 Hour race formguide:

2010
Nürburgring 24 Hours (Team Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS): Retired
Le Mans 24 Hours (Team Kolles Audi R10 TDI): Retired

2012
Nürburgring 24 Hours (Speedhunters Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra): 32nd
Le Mans 24 Hours (Audi Sport Team Joest R18 ultra): 3rd

2013
Daytona 24 Hours (Alex Job Racing Audi R8 GRAND-AM): 1st (GT class)
Le Mans 24 Hours (Audi Sport Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro): 3rd
Spa 24 Hours (Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra): 4th

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