MOTOR RACING: Bassingham’s Harvey secure first Indy Lights race victory of the season
Bassingham single-seater racing driver Jack Harvey claimed his first Indy Lights win of the 2015 season in dominant style at the weekend, taking a lights to flag victory in the Mazda Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Friday’s qualifying session was one of the closest of the season, but Jack came out on top, setting a new lap record of 1min 15.0639sec and claiming pole position for both races.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver lined up on the first row of the grid for Friday afternoon’s race. Jack dominated from the very start, and the rest of the field was unable to get close to him during the 30-lap race. He crossed the finish line almost five seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, claiming a further 30 championship points.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver was in pole position for the second race of the weekend. At the start of the race, Jack was squeezed by Sean Rayhall and moved down to P2. On lap three, the track was put under a full course caution for Spencer Pigot’s retirement and at the restart Jack made a move on Rayhall for the race lead, but was pushed down to third by Serralles.
Undeterred, Jack continued to push and set a series of fastest laps before reclaiming second place from Felix Serralles.
In the closing lap, he continued to close the gap to race leader Rayhall and the race looked set for an exciting finale, when Jack’s engine lost drive with just a few corners of the race to go. A visor tear-off had got stuck in his radiator when he had been behind the safety car earlier in the race and caused the engine to overheat and go into ‘safety mode’. Crushingly, with limited engine power, he dropped back down the field to finish fifth.
Jack said it had been a weekend of mixed emotions: “Friday was pretty much a perfect day; we qualified on pole, won and also set the fastest lap in the race. We’ve been working hard all season for this first win and although four P2 finishes have been a great achievement, the whole team has been pushing hard for that first win.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their hard work and support so far – it really is a team effort.
“We were looking strong for another P2 finish on Saturday when the car’s engine went into ‘safety mode’ due to the tear-off getting stuck in my radiator, and I lost power. On the positive side, we have closed the gap right up in the championship fight. There is now only four points between Ed [Jones] and I, as we head to the next round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 21.”