British racing driver Jack Harvey will head Stateside in 2014 to follow his dreams and race in the United States of America Indy series.
The 20-year-old, from Bassingham, will be travelling to the states to contest the Indy Lights series with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM).
Harvey, who is managed and funded by the Racing Steps Foundation, scored GP3 victories at Silverstone and Monza in 2013, driving for ART Grand Prix. His 13 top-10 finishes carried him to fifth place in the GP3 Series Championship, one of Formula 1’s feeder series.
“Everything was looking good for me to continue racing in Europe, but it has always been a dream of mine to race out in the US and now the Racing Steps Foundation has given me the chance to do that in Indy Lights with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2014,” Harvey said.
“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports doesn’t need any introduction with their winning history in Indy Lights.
“We always try to associate ourselves with winners, which is exactly what this team has proven itself to be.”
Indy Lights was launched in 2002 as a feeder series for the Indy Car Series – America’s biggest and most coveted single-seater racing series.
The 2014 season will cover 14 races held over 10 race weekends, including the iconic Indianapolis Speedway.
SPM has captured seven Indy Lights titles since 2004 and is the most successful team in the series history with 60 victories.
Team owner Sam Schmidt said: “We look for raw talent, wins and/or championships in a competitive series, commitment and maturity beyond age in our Indy Lights drivers.
“Jack not only ticks one of those boxes, but he has checked all of them.”
Harvey said he got his first taste of driving in the US when he tested with SPM at Sebring International Raceway in November.
He said: “In addition to being in a brand new type of car, I was at a brand new track in Sebring,
“I didn’t have too many preconceptions of what the car would be like compared to what I’ve been racing the past two years, but I felt the car performed even better than I had anticipated. I got a good feeling from the car and the team, which really confirmed for me that racing with SPM in Indy Lights is where I want to be in 2014.”
The Racing Steps Foundation (RSF) has guided and funded Harvey’s racing career since 2009, and was instrumental in helping him make the switch to Indy.
Harvey said: “The RSF was created by Graham Sharp quite a few years ago when he decided that he wanted to support drivers who without him wouldn’t have the opportunity to go racing.”
“I’ve just wrapped up my fifth season racing with them, and there’s no way I would have been this competitive since leaving karts without them. I’ve worked hard to make my own success but they’ve created opportunities for me to progress up the racing ladder.”
Mr Schmidt said he is committed to ensuring the highest calibre talent to help the team to its eighth championship.
“New teams and drivers in Indy Lights next season will raise the bar for winning even higher.
“We have been truly blessed with our success in wins and championships over recent years, but we also understand that we now have a big target on our backs. Our success lies in the continuity of our team members over several years and our ability to maximise each driver’s potential within our programme. We hope to win our eighth championship and our fifth in a row next year by requiring excellence and continued improvement by our entire team, including its newest member Jack Harvey.”
Jack Harvey’s Career Highlights from the past three years:
○ 2013: He took two wins in GP3 at Silverstone and Monza; 13 top-10 finishes in GP3, fifth place finish in GP3 Championship the highest finishing rookie, Lincolnshire Sportsman of the Year Award.
○ 2012: He was British F3 International Champion
○ 2010: He was vice champion in Formula BMW Europe Series.