Jarvis, Mazda Team Joest Topple Daytona Track Record in Roar Qualifying Round
Oliver Jarvis laid down a blistering 1:33.398 lap around the 3.56-mile circuit to top the timesheets during Sunday’s penultimate session.
Oliver Jarvis of Mazda Team Joest bested the longstanding Daytona International Speedway road course record during Sunday's qualifying round of the Roar Before the 24. The Brit surpassed P.J. Jones' benchmark, originally set in 1993, with a 1:33.398 lap, pacing the unofficial session and going a mere .025 seconds faster than his Joest counterpart Harry Tincknell.
Jarvis' effort in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P DPi was a leap ahead of the former fastest time in the session a year ago, set by Action Express Racing's Felipe Nasr at 1:35.806.
“It felt incredible. Big thanks to Mazda Team Joest, Multimatic and AER. The Mazda was an absolute joy to drive," explained Jarvis. "We ran in full qualy spec, I don’t think many of our competitors can say the same, but in that low-fuel configuration, it felt incredible. You could really push the car to its limits, and that’s what us drivers live for, that feeling of getting everything out of the car."
Mazda Motorsports North America Director John Doonan was exceptionally pleased with the outfit's performance over the weekend. He used the moment to pay tribute to Jones and Dan Gurney, the latter of which ran the All American Racers team which previously set the record at Daytona's famed sportscar circuit.
"This whole weekend we came here to go racing. That’s what we are all about, and we are going to come back here in three weeks and do the same," said Doonan. “Everything we do on the race track is dedicated to our Mazda fans, our Mazda owners, our Mazda dealers, but I think a shout out needs to go to All American Racers and what Dan Gurney and that program stood for. To go faster than that track record is really a special milestone for Mazda, a milestone for IMSA, and I think for what the DPi program has meant—allowing manufacturers to come here with a car that looks like the brand, that the chief designers are involved in, I think really is a milestone moment."
"God bless Dan Gurney and his family for what they accomplished and to go faster than that record today, we all grew up watching our heroes race, and Dan is certainly on my list of heroes. They are a group of racers—they are called All American Racers—and we are a group of racers at Mazda we are going to come back here in three weeks and race really hard.”
The Joest-ran team, which is looking to improve upon the results from its maiden year of competition with Mazda in 2018, has a pair of podiums to its name from the prior season. Both Mazda entries, the Nos. 55 and 77, were fastest in at least one session during this year's Roar event with another one-hour running set to conclude the event at 2:45 p.m. EST Sunday.