MOTOR RACING: Bassingham’s Harvey wins biggest race of his career

Indy Lights 100 race winner Jack Harvey shows off his latest silverware.
Indy Lights 100 race winner Jack Harvey shows off his latest silverware.

Bassingham racing driver Jack Harvey claimed one of the most memorable victories of his racing career on Friday – winning the prestigious Indianapolis Freedom 100, the support race to the 99th Indy 500.

Jack headed into the race weekend off the back of a dominant race win at the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit at the start of the month, and this latest victory took him to the top of the Indy Lights Championship leader board.

Known in motorsport as one of the most iconic racetracks in the world, the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval is the most challenging track on the Indy Lights calendar.

Jack was quickest from the start, setting the pace with a fastest lap of 195.981 mph (45.9228 seconds) during a preliminary test session on Monday.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver continued to dominate, running in the top three for all testing and practice sessions. Thursday’s qualifying session saw the track’s previous lap record of 190.177 mph shattered. Pole position was eventually taken by Ringel, with a top speed of 197.684mph, closely followed by Jack with 197.551 mph.

On Friday afternoon, Jack lined up on the outside of the front row for the race and wasted no time in taking the lead on the first lap. Over the course of the next 40 laps, he and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team-mate jostled for position, with the race lead changing hands six times.

However, it was Jack who timed the closing laps to perfection and on lap 35 made a move on Ringel for the race lead as they were lapping traffic. With just two laps of the race to go, Ed Jones crashed into turn four bringing the yellow flags out. Victory was just a few minutes away, and two laps later Jack took the chequered flag and his second win of the season.

Jack said: “This is the biggest single race I’ve ever won. Looking back, it will easily be up there as one of my career highlights. It was the one race that I wanted to win all season.

“As I was going over the line, I had a few tears in my eyes and when I was getting interviewed, my legs were shaking. It just means the world and I know it means the world to the team too, we have worked so hard for this.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such an iconic track, and to win here during the same weekend as the Indy 500 is a very special feeling. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me. I really couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”