Oliver Jarvis admitted that he didn’t know Renger van der Zande was within attacking distance when he got held up by GTD traffic in the closing stages of Sunday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Jarvis lost the lead to van der Zande with ten minutes to go after the Englishman got caught behind the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ross Gunn through the high-speed Turns 2 and 3 complex.
He would go on to finish second in the race, marking the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing’s fifth consecutive runner-up finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year.
“I’m not happy,” said Jarvis. “I just got caught out in traffic. To be honest, I didn’t know he was there. I saw a car up the inside and it caught me a little off guard.
“I thought I had enough of a buffer but just got held up by the GTD on the exit of [Turn] 2.
“It’s really disappointing. We had a quick car — very difficult to drive. It was not an easy race.
“OK, we come away with the points lead in the championship but at a certain point there we looked like we were controlling it again. It’s really disappointing.”
Jarvis said he could have worked the race differently in traffic but ultimately got caught out in the closing stages after he and co-driver Tom Blomqvist led a race-high 60 laps.
“The problem is once you get out of the rhythm, you just catch them wrong,” Jarvis said.
“I didn’t know he was there into Turn 3. In hindsight, if I had defended, it would have been pretty easy to keep him behind.
“That’s a tough one. That’s on me. A few other occasions you get caught out. It’s not easy as every car does something different.
“A couple of times I went inside and you think they’ve seen you and they just turn in.”
Jarvis acknowledged the Turn 3 incident with the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan of Scott Andrews, which sent the Australian hard into the tire barriers with 57 minutes to go and brought out a yellow.
No further action was taken by IMSA race control on the incident.
“I hate to put another driver out of the race,” said Jarvis. “I felt it ever so slightly but I couldn’t believe it when I came around. I thought I was alongside, so I need to see that one [on camera].
“I’m sorry to them. I hate having contact with anybody but especially in multi-class. It was very light but it obviously enough to just send him wide.”
An earlier run-in with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura of Ricky Taylor, meanwhile, resulted in a warning given to the MSR driver by race control, while the two cars were battling on the front straight.
“I knew [Ricky] was close but didn’t know exactly where he was,” said Jarvis. “I felt a little brush so I pulled left and we had another little contact at Turn 1.
“That’s racing. I think we’ve had a few brushes throughout the year and we’ll probably have a few more before the year’s out.
“We’re two separate teams. We race for the same brand but we’re fighting very hard.
“We’re at the line, we just have to make sure we don’t cross over it. I feel like we can race really hard. A little bit of brushing is okay but beyond that we have to make sure we keep both cars on the track.”
“Rough Day” for WTR’s Taylor, Albuquerque
Jarvis and Blomqvist retook the DPi championship lead following a race to forget for title rivals Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who finished sixth after multiple setbacks and incidents.
It included an early race puncture, Taylor’s aforementioned brush with Jarvis as well as getting spun around by the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Earl Bamber while battling for second.
“The incident with the No. 02 came when we had great track position after a restart and sent us to the back of the field,” said Taylor.
“From there, I was in the mindset of trying to get as many points as possible and didn’t have much to lose.
“I have to apologize to the No. 31. They didn’t lose because of it, but I didn’t make a very good move on them trying to get by in Turn 9.
“I was trying to get every position that I could because I could see the championship points going away.”
Taylor and Albuquerque now trail the MSR duo by 56 points heading into the final two DPi races of the season.