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Late blow-out denies Oliver Jarvis top place on the podium in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

Oliver Jarvis finished third with Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla in Sebring. Picture: Mazda Motorsports (43145572)
Oliver Jarvis finished third with Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla in Sebring. Picture: Mazda Motorsports (43145572)

A blown out tire with the finishing line imminent ruined Oliver Jarvis’ chances of success in the IMSA Weatherteach SportsCar Championship season finale, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

It has been a difficult second half to the season for Jarvis and team-mate Tristan Nunez in the #77 Mazda Motorsports DPi car, and they were joined by Olivier Pla for the conclusion to the campaign.

Acura’s Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor were targeting the championship, and were under pressure from Cadillac’s Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe, who ran into early problems.

A collision between Jarvis and the No 10 Cadillac meant Scott Dixon had to limp to the pits with a flat rear and led to an extensive repair.

The #77 benefitted from another collision with two hours and 27 minutes left, as Juan Pablo Montoya in the No 6 Acura was taken out of the lead by the Pipo Derani, allowing Pla to move them into first place.

But with 27 minutes left, Jarvis’ left rear tyre went flat, sending him off course and bringing out a full-course caution. It handed the lead to the #55 Mazda of Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Hunter-Ready.

“I was pushing like crazy on those last two stints to catch the number 77 car. I got in the car in second place, 25 seconds down and at that point was thinking a one-two would be great and then I heard the news that Oliver had a puncture. I feel for those guys; it’s tough and I’ve been in that situation before,” said Tincknell.

They held on for the win, with Jarvis, Pla and Nunez getting on the podium in third place.

Castroneves, Taylor and Alexander Rossi finished in eighth place, but did enough to take the overall driver, team and manufacturer titles, earning 242 points in the driver standings.

Jarvis and Nunez were sixth overall with 217, eight adrift of fourth-placed team-mates Tincknell and Bomarito.

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