Bassingham boy Harvey rolls the dice on IndyCar race strategy
It was another homecoming for Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) at Mid-Ohio for the Honda IndyCar 200 race last weekend.
Hopes were high for the 80-lap Fourth of July feature for Bassingham's Jack Harvey in the number 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda, but the Brit closed out the race 19th on the Sunday.
Jack showed significant pace early in the race weekend, finishing third in practice one and eighth in practice two.
Things were looking good heading into qualifying as he posted the second fastest lap time in Group One. But unfortunately that lap was taken away after a spin in the final moments of the session which removed his fast lap and he was relegated to start P23.
It would be a game of strategy for the race to bring Jack back through the field as the team opted to take a three stop strategy in hopes of placing him further up the field.
The first three laps of the race saw chaos ensue and Jack was able to manoeuvre through two separate accidents and two caution periods. He made his way up to P17 following the second restart and was focused on the race ahead.
MSR was the first team to call its car into pit lane on lap 16 which saw Jack return back on track with Firestone alternate tyres and added front wing. The early pit stop was an effort to undercut the field and bring Jack to the top following the first round of pit cycles.
As the race proceeded under green flag running, Jack continued the pace that he showed early in the weekend and posted the fastest lap (1min 8.734sec) of the race on lap 67.
Following 80 laps of hard fought battles and hot temperatures, Jack brought home an 19th place result.
"Because we had good pace, that's why we decided to roll the dice and go for that strategy," said Jack.
“We had great pace and we set the fastest lap of the race. When you have these kind of days you get really disappointed about things happening like what happened in qualifying yesterday. When we start at the back, I have no problem rolling the dice on strategy.
"All of the ingredients that we are looking for are here, we just need to put them together on one weekend.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Jack Harvey cut his racing teeth in karts, spending his early years honing his craft at tracks such as Fulbeck and Brandon.
He quickly rose up the ranks and won the British Formula 3 Championship in 2012. He made the transition to racing in the USA two years later, beginning in the Indy Lights series and moving up to IndyCar in 2017. He now shares the race grid with former F1 luminaries such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Romain Grosjean and Takuma Sato.
Meyer Shank Racing will have a month-long break from racing action for both its IndyCar and IMSA programme, so Jack's next race will be on the streets of Nashville for the Music City Grand Prix on August 8.