MOTOR RACING: Former Fulbeck kart racer records best IndyCar finish to date
Bassingham racing driver Jack Harvey recorded his best IndyCar finish to date at the Grand Prix of Long Beach at the weekend.
Making his fifth IndyCar series start, the Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver took the chequered flag in 12th position after 85 laps of close racing.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race had been frustrating for Harvey and the team. After making progress in practice, the team was hoping to continue that momentum through qualifying, but were unsuccessful as the balance of the car did not match the afternoon track conditions.
Harvey ended the session around the 11-turn, 1.9-mile temporary street circuit, setting the 17th quickest time with a lap time of 1min 8.8207 seconds.
On Sunday afternoon, Harvey lined up on the ninth row of the grid. Almost immediately, a full course caution was brought out and the team pitted Harvey. Their strategy paid off and Harvey steadily moved through the field to P7 before pitting for the second time on lap 31.
By lap 61 he was running in P4 and looking strong for a top five finish. He was about to come in for his third and final pit stop when the yellow flags were brought out and the pitl ane was closed, forcing Harvey to stay out on track as the field was slowed.
This compromised his race strategy and meant that when the pit lane was reopened two laps later, he had dropped down the field. Despite this, Harvey continued to fight on and after 85 laps of racing, he crossed the finish line in P12.
“We moved forward and that was the goal,” said Harvey. “We ran well all day, but that yellow came out at the absolute wrong time. But you can’t predict those kinds of things happening.
“We had a good race and we showed what we can do and that we deserve to be here. It’s also a great result for the team and my birthday today. It’s not too often that you can really show your true potential and I think this weekend was a good step in that direction.”
Harvey cut his teeth as a young kart racer on tracks at Fulbeck and Brandon and on to the highest level before moving on to GP3, British F3 and Formula BMW Europe, winning at every level of competition including taking the British International F3 Series Championship.
He missed out on the Indy Lights title twice by the narrowest of margins before moving up to Indy Car.
Next up for Harvey is the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.