Oliver Jarvis has admitted he was expecting nothing less than victory from the A1GP season-opener at Zandvoort last weekend, and after thoroughly dominating the feature outing declared himself a 'very happy man'.

Despite struggling in qualifying for the earlier sprint, the Japanese F3 ace produced a gritty performance aboard the specially-liveried Team GB car in tribute to the late Colin McRae. From tenth on the grid Jarvis climbed three places up the order into seventh spot at the close, just a fraction adrift of reigning champions Germany - and with it got Britain's bid for series honours off the mark with four valuable points.

That challenge was further boosted by his feature race triumph, pivotal to which was a spectacular early move on Christian Vietoris that saw him snatch second place on lap four. Following an impressive string of fastest laps and flawless pit work during the first round of stops, he was soon ahead of South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and from there on would never again be threatened en route to Britain's fourth win from seven races.

"That's the start to the year I was anticipating before we came here!" the 20-year-old enthused afterwards. "It was a fantastic race, though very tough physically and mentally. I didn't get the best of starts but managed to dive down the inside and get back past Neel Jani into turn one. After that it was a case of pressurising Germany who I knew were a lot slower than us, and I managed to pull off an overtaking move down the inside - that really made the race for me.

"The team made all the right pit-stop calls - we pitted as soon as the first pit-stop window opened and then pushed hard to close the gap and try to jump South Africa, which we achieved. I got my head down as it was then a case of controlling the race and making sure I didn't make any mistakes. It's a special win for me with my whole family here, and for the team it's a great start to the season. I'm going home a very happy man!"

As a result of Jarvis' success, Britain now sits second in the nations' standings, nine points in arrears of leaders South Africa as the A1GP circus gets set to head to round two at Brno in the Czech Republic in a fortnight's time.

"A fantastic result for the team and a great start to our championship challenge," agreed team principal Katie Clements. "It was always going to be tough in the sprint from tenth on the grid, but Olly drive very well to gain the places he did.

"The feature saw plenty of action, and our race pace and pit work were first-class. With new commercial partners joining the team we're also overjoyed to score a victory and gain exposure for them, as well as being a fitting tribute to the late Colin McRae."

 

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