Despite performing in front of almost 100,000 spectators at Hockenheim at the weekend, DTM newcomer Oliver Jarvis nevertheless retained his composure and impressed his team – though he narrowly failed in his goal to score points on his series debut.
Having shone in winter testing and then gone on to convert that promise into a top eight grid slot – the only driver behind the wheel of older-spec machinery to make it through into the final knock-out phase in qualifying – Jarvis made a similarly bright start in the race, rising up to sixth place on the opening lap. A hold-up in his first pit-stop may have ultimately cost the 24-year-old a chance of points, but he was far from disheartened afterwards.
“My start was great,” the 2005 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year
award winner recounted, “and I managed to move forwards to sixth place. In the first two turns, though, I had to let up a bit, and my tyres picked up some dirt which caused the car to oversteer.
“When I pitted for the first time, I was in eighth place. Just as I was about to leave the pit-lane, Ralf Schumacher came in and I had to stop briefly, which cost me a second and Bernd Schneider overtook us.
“At that point, our race became very tough. After the second pit stop 'Rocky' [Mike Rockenfeller] was really putting on the pressure. Too bad that I wasn't able to score a point. Still, it was a good first race.”
Indeed it was, as Jarvis finished six seconds and two places ahead of more experienced team-mate Alex Prémat, and Audi Sport Team Phoenix team director Ernst Moser was full of praise for his young charge once the chequered flag had dropped.
“We weren't able to keep the pace of the new A4 cars and fought with the Mercedes drivers,” he acknowledged. “Oliver did a superb job in his first race and made a great start. He's a fantastic fighter. I'm very satisfied and next time we'll get closer again."