Oliver Jarvis is hoping that his decision to pursue a drive in the DTM tin-top series hasn’t put an end to his open-wheel racing career – and that he might even make it onto the F1 grid.
Jarvis has been a regular in the British A1GP team, where he has driven alongside former F3 and Le Mans star Robbie Kerr. However that team has announced that it will be running with just one driver next season, instead of the pairing that it has used so far.
While Jarvis has had success – two wins and five second places from 14 starts – he has proved evenly matched with team-mate Robbie Kerr, who has raced for three seasons to Jarvis’ two and has an equally high rate of points scoring.
The smart money for the 2008-09 season would back Kerr over Jarvis for the drive, especially since the latter signed for DTM in what looks to be a realistic assessment of his likely route to the elusive Formula One paddock.
Jarvis told The Sun: “It was a big decision to sign for Audi and go into DTM — there’s no getting away from that. But once I made it I knew I had to put everything behind it.
“I have gone a little bit away from the usual route to F1 but my goal really is to be a professional racing driver — and that is what I am doing at the moment.
“I am getting paid to drive racing cars and there are not many people out there in the world who can say that.”
He said that he sees no reason why a DTM career shouldn’t lead to a F1 drive, and that others had taken a similar route to motorsport’s top flight.
“I am still striving for that. But at the same time, if my career lies with the DTM and other projects with Audi then I will be very happy if in ten years time I’m still driving a race car and still part of the Audi driver programme.”
The DTM series is coming to Brands Hatch for its British round this weekend, and features no less than six British drivers.
However there’s a strict hierarchy within the teams that mean that some are coping with less than optimum equipment.
Jarvis has impressed observers with his competitiveness in his year-old car while he faces the task of learning a whole set of new circuits.
“My goals are to do a good job, establish myself as a competitive driver and hope I will do enough to be given a new car next year.
“It’s a nice feeling heading to a circuit I’ve been to before. It should be a little bit of an advantage but at the same time a lot of the other drivers know Brands Hatch, too, especially of course the other British guys.”