The British racing driver Oliver Jarvis is one of Audi factory drivers who regularly competes with Audi prototypes at 24 hours of Le Mans since 2012, scoring three overall podiums since then. In 2013, he won Sebring 12-hour race with Audi. Prior to that, Jarvis competed for four seasons in the DTM with Audi. Except Le Mans podiums, his most notable results were championship title in the 2005 Formula Renault UK, second place in the 2006 British F3 Championship and third place in the 2007 Japanese Formula 3 Championship.
Ten years in the karting competitions
Oliver Jarvis was born on January 9, 1984, in Burwell, England. He started racing with go-karts at the age of 8. In the next ten years, he gained many successes in the British and European karting competitions, before deciding to switch to the Formula Ford in 2002. In his debut season in the car racing, Jarvis finished seventh in the British Formula Ford Championship. He spent one more season in the Formula Ford, before moving to the Formula Renault.
In the 2004 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship, Jarvis finished eighth in the points, taking his first victory in the post-season Winter Series of the FR 2.0. He switched from Motaworld to Manor Motorsport, staying with the team in 2005.
Oliver was the 2005 British Formula Renault champion
With five wins in 20 race, Jarvis became the British Formula Renault champion, which was his first and only championship title in a career. This title also brought him the BRDC's Rising Star award and McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award.
The next step was Formula 3 with Carlin Motorsport and Honda-powered Dallara F306. In the British championship, Jarvis scored two wins at Mondello Park and Brands Hatch, to finish second in the points, behind Mike Conway. Between the seasons 2006 and 2007, Jarvis joined Team Britain in the A1 Grand Prix series, competing in four races and winning one race in Mexico.
A year in the Japanese Formula 3
In 2007, Oliver's main competition was the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, in which he was driving Dallara F306 (Toyota) for the team Tom's. In 20 races, he was the winner three times and finished third in the points. The highlight of the season was the victory at Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.
During 2007, Jarvis had a one-off appearances in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Japanese Super GT championship (with Toyota SC430), which was the announcement of his new career outside open-wheel cars. His last single-seater competition was the 2007/2008 A1 Grand Prix series, taking the third place with Team GB.
Jarvis joined Audi for 2008 DTM season
In 2008, Oliver joined Team Phoenix to drive Audi A4 in the DTM. In eleven races, his best result was 5th place at Mugello and he finished 13th in the points. The DTM was his only competition in 2008, in the next year he expanded his activities to one round of the Asian Le Mans Series, driving the Audi R10 TDI for Kolles team at Okayama 1000-km race. In 2009 DTM season, Jarvis scored two podiums, at Hockenheim and Zandvoort, to finish 9th in the points.
In 2010, Jarvis switched to the Abt Sportsline team in DTM, repeating ninth place at the end of the season. The main event that year was his debut at 24 hours of Le Mans, in the #15 Audi R10 TDI of Kolles team, alongside Christian Bakkerud and Christijan Albers. They retired after 331 laps.
Leaving DTM after four seasons
In 2011, Jarvis was competing only in DTM and nothing else. In ten races with Audi A4, he reached the podium at Red Bull Ring and finished tenth in the points. He left DTM at the end of the season and joined Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the 2013 FIA GT1 World Championship.
Oliver's partner in the #33 Audi R8 LMS was Frank Stippler. After five podiums in 18 races, Jarvis was 8th in the championship standings. During the year, Jarvis was an Audi driver in various competitions and races, such were FIA World Endurance Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, VLN and 24 hours of Nurburgring, but the highlight of the season was his first overall podium at Le Mans.
First Le Mans podium with Audi in 2012
In June 2012, his co-drivers in the #4 Audi R18 ultra were Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Bonanomi. They were sixth on the starting grid and finished third, behind two sister cars of Audi factory team.
In 2013, Jarvis continued to drive Audi prototypes and GT cars in various competitions in Europe and North America. The first race of the season was 2013 24 hours of Daytona, where Jarvis took the GT class victory in the #24 AJR Audi R8 Grand-Am, together with Filipe Albuquerque, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke.
Sebring victory and one more Le Mans podium with Audi
The next big success was the victory at 2013 12 hours of Sebring, in the Audi Sport Team Joest's R18 e-tron quattro, alongside Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.
In the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship, Jarvis scored two podiums with #3 factory-entered Audi R18 e-tron quattro, finishing third at Silverstone and Le Mans. In both races, his co-drivers were Marc Gene and Lucas di Grassi. The 2013 Le Mans race was the one in which Tom Kristensen scored his ninth Le Mans victory, one lap ahead of second-placed Toyota and third-placed #3 Audi.
The season of disappointing results
In January 2014, Jarvis returned to Daytona International Speedway but failed to finish the 24-hour race in the #46 Fall-Line Motorsports' Audi R8 Grand-Am. The whole season was without victories and podiums, including the retirement at Le Mans. Oliver's teammate Marco Bonanomi had an accident on Lap 26, so Jarvis and Filipe Albuquerque had no opportunity to drive.
Most of the 2014 season Jarvis spent in Japan, driving the Lexus RC F for the Team SARD in the Japanese Super GT Championship. His partner was Hiroaki Ishiura. In eight races they missed wins and podiums, scoring only one pole position. Jarvis finished 13th in the points.
2015 - first full FIA WEC season
The 2015 season was the first full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Jarvis, as the new team was formed in the #8 car after Tom Kristensen's retirement. Jarvis' teammates in all eight events of the championship were Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval.
Their only podium was third place at Circuit of the American and the trio finished fourth in the championship points. They were fourth also at 24 hours of Le Mans, behind two Porsches and teammates in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Maiden world endurance championship win at Spa
The FIA WEC duties were Oliver's only job in 2015 and he continued in the same way in 2016. The crew in the #8 Audi LMP1 prototype remain unchanged, with Jarvis, Di Grassi and Duval sharing the cockpit. In May 2016, at Spa-Francorchamps, Jarvis reached his maiden FIA WEC victory.
One more podium at Le Mans followed in June, with the trio in the #8 car finishing third, the best of all Audi crews. Until the end of the season, the #8 Audi scored three more podiums (Nurburgring, COTA, Fuji) and victory in Bahrain, so Jarvis and his teammates finished second in the championship order. His career-best FIA WEC season was also the last with Audi, as the German manufacturer announced a withdrawal from the championship.