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Jarvis: Mid-Ohio “Extremely Important” for MSR, Acura

Home race for Meyer Shank Racing, DPi championship battle in focus for Oliver Jarvis…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Oliver Jarvis believes Sunday’s Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio will be “extremely important” for Meyer Shank Racing not only because of the team’s home race but also for the DPi championship battle that heads in with a dead heat between the two Acura ARX-05 entries.

Jarvis and co-driver Tom Blomqvist are even on 1325 points with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque following the first four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races of the season.

With the 2.258-mile circuit suiting the Acura DPi, which has been undefeated at Mid-Ohio since its debut in 2018, Jarvis believes there’s high expectations this weekend.

“I think it’s extremely important for a couple of reasons,” he said. “Firstly, it’s Mike [Shank] and the team’s home race. I heard… that they’ve never won [at Mid-Ohio] so we’d love to put that right, Tom, myself and the team. 

“It would be amazing to win at their home track.

“The other reason being is that it’s a track that’s been very good for Acura in the past. It’s important that we capitalize on the tracks that do suit our car and we make the most of it and come away with maximum points. 

“We’re getting to halfway in the season and points you score here could be crucial for the championship at the end.

“I think first of all we have to make sure we’ve got the car underneath us that we did in Laguna. The team did a fantastic job [there].

“We’ve got to go out there and see where we’re at. If we do have a quick car like we did in Laguna, it’s important we don’t drop points.

“It would be nice to get that win. That would be important but also looking for the championship. You can’t afford to miss wins when they’re available; it doesn’t happen often.

“It’s important we take the opportunities if we want to win the championship at the end of the year.

“We’re going to go into it with full of confidence. We’ve made some big steps with the car this year and hopefully that follows on to Mid-Ohio.”

While having enjoyed standout drives at the wheel of the Mazda RT-24P at the circuit, Jarvis has yet to turn laps at the facility in an Acura DPi, having made the off-season switch from the now-defunct Mazda DPi squad to MSR.

“I’ve always seen it go well there in the past so I’m quite excited to try it for myself,” he said. “I’ve been against the car and have seen its strengths.

“The Acura loves high-speed Turn 1 and corners like that. It’s been strong over the years.

“We talk of Mid-Ohio being an Acura track but I watched qualifying back from last year, and also the race, I have to say the Cadillacs were very strong there.

“If you look at Laguna the step they made from last year to this year in qualifying I think they were six-tenths behind last year and only one-tenth this year.

“I think it’s going to be a close fight if you make the assumption they’ve made a step forward everywhere.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as clear cut as maybe people think. It’s going to be a tough fight with the Caddys.”

When asked by Sportscar365 about the recent Balance of Performance change, which sees the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs return to its 945 kg minimum weight it had at Long Beach, Jarvis said it’s “very difficult to say” where he expects the competition to stack up this weekend.

“I’m a little bit surprised, if I’m honest, because we knew Laguna was a strong track for the Acura and the gap was very small in qualifying,” he said.

“It was a little bit more [of a gap] in the race but I thought we’d probably go a couple of races without another change.

“We have to see where we’re at when we get to Mid-Ohio. Ten kilos is not a huge difference. But it can always make a difference come qualifying. 

“It can come down to hundredths of a second as we’ve seen in the past and that could be the difference. We’ll have to wait and see.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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