“Ex-British F3 champion Harvey lands top Indy Lights seat”
Jack Harvey secured a move to the US-based Firestone Indy Lights Series on Friday, courtesy of Racing Steps Foundation.
At the Performance Racing Show in Indianapolis, the 2012 British F3 champion announced his move to the US and his partnership with the successful Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.
The move comes following several weeks of negotiations, as well as a number of test sessions at Sebring at Barber Motorsports Park.
Harvey’s move to the US is just another in a long series of signals emphasising the absurd costs needed to break into Formula One.
It was point further driven home by Derek Walker of Racing Steps. “The current prospects for talented young drivers to make their way out of the recognised Formula 1 feeder series into F1 itself are just too limited. Obviously we could have kept Jack in GP3 for a second year or even moved him up into GP2. But where would he go after that? The seats are just not there for up and coming drivers at present.”
Reflecting upon the position that programmes such as the Racing Steps Foundation finds itself, Walker added: “The RSF’s aim is try to steer our drivers in the direction of drives from which they can progress to become professionals. So, from that point of view, the States is by far the better place to be. We’ve placed Jack with a top team. They’ve won the title for a fourth successive season this year with Sage Karam so this is the right place for Jack to make his mark.”
Following a single season in the GP3 Series that delivered two victories, Harvey was naturally disappointed to leave the Formula One ladder behind; however the Briton is enthusiastic about the challenges ahead. “Everything was looking good for me in Europe and I could certainly have continued to race there but the RSF and I thought there were better opportunities to pursue here in the States.”
With his drive confirmed, Harvey is now keen to face what the Indy Lights Series can throw at it, including a brand new challenge – ovals – but Harvey’s confidence remains undimmed. “[RSF have] placed me with a team with an awesome track record of 60 wins and seven titles in total so I couldn’t be more thrilled. The last few weeks have been amazing. The team has made me so welcome. So, right now, I couldn’t be happier.“
Harvey will have to wait until the end of March for the new Indy Lights season to begin, whereupon it will support the IndyCar Series at the St Petersburg street circuit in Florida.