The Mazda Is Fast

Image: Mazda

For the third time this season we’ve born witness to Mazda Team Joest driver Oliver Jarvis absolutely smash expectations with an insanely fast lap in qualifying. After smashing the lap record outright at Daytona, and nabbing pole position at Mid-Ohio, Jarvis has officially run faster than the IMSA record at Watkins Glen International, by a lot of seconds.

During Saturday’s qualifying session, Jarvis set an astonishing 1:29.639, which is a new track record for the DPi class. This beat the previous lap record, Pipo Derani’s 2017 pole lap, by 2.494-seconds! It is important to note that IMSA moved the top tier class to much faster Michelin tires this season, but that doesn’t diminish this amazing lap. Just watch how MAXIMUM ATTACK Jarvis is through the whole thing. The level of commitment through the inner loop is just next level.

Oliver Jarvis on his pole lap:

“That was incredible. We didn’t quite have the car we wanted all weekend, but the team did an amazing job and we had It for qualifying when it mattered. I didn’t quite get the perfect lap, but I’m pleased with pole and a new track record - and I just got a John Doonan bear hug which is always a good sign. The Mazda RT24-P was spot on and to get the pole makes us very confident. We’ve got a very strong race car so we’re really looking forward to tomorrow’s Six Hours. We’ve got to beat some of the toughest competition in the world. This Is an incredible championship with some of the fiercest rivals I’ve ever come across, so we’ve got to have a perfect race. That goes for all three drivers, to the strategy, the team, the pit stops - there’s no room for error so we’ll be pushing from the green to the checkered flag.”

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The Mazda prototype effort, now in its fifth full IMSA season and second season with Joest holding the reigns, is still looking for its first victory. With a decent bit of luck, they could achieve it in Sunday’s Sahlens Six Hours of the Glen. With six full hours of racing, there’s no telling what could happen, but the team definitely has speed on its side. 

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Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.