Life in the fast lane for motor champion Jack Harvey

After an impressive karting career, where he has won more titles than had hot dinners, Jack Harvey is now climbing the sport’s ladder and is aiming for the top. He clearly has talent and has been spotted by the Racing Steps Foundation (RSF). Jack races in the Formula BMW series and was just one of five drivers chosen by the RSF, who help fund his seat in the series.

Geared-up for Formula One, schoolboy Jack Harvey Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Clearly ambitious and determined, racing has been in his blood from an early age. “I’ve always been surrounded by motorsport as my Dad raced and did Autograss when I was little,” explained Jack.

“It was my passion until I was about seven years old, but then I started to get an interest in football. When I started racing a couple of years later I enjoyed it, but I loved playing football.

“But since I’ve progressed in racing and I’ve had success in karts, and now cars, I’m past that and I just love all forms of motorsport.”

Despite not being able to hold a full UK driving licence, Jack is coming up to the end of his first season at the hands of a 140bhp BMW single-seat car. “It’s my first year in formula racing and it really has been a rookie season. I think though, for the limited amount of track time we had at the start of the year, we’ve done well. The middle of the season wasn’t great, for various reasons. But at the final round at Monza we showed what’s there, in readiness for a championship year in 2010.

“The speed and racecraft et cetera, getting pole at the last round was fantastic. The pole side of the track was wet in the race so I lost ground, but the whole weekend was a great way to round off the year. A solid winter of testing will put us in a great position for next year definitely. A grade? Well, we’ve given ‘A’ for effort all year!”

The highlight of Jack’s first season came with his first victory at Zandvoort, which used to be a Formula One circuit. “I was really happy with it, really happy. I didn’t expect it that soon, to be honest. Over the weekend there I knew the car was good and it gave me the confidence to push really hard and challenge in places the others drivers weren’t as good.”

“It also gave everyone else in the team more confidence for the rest of the season with me being a rookie and taking an outright win. I was the first Formula BMW win for the Fortec team too, so it felt good to be able to hand them that.”

As well as racing around Europe and the world, Jack is not immune to the pressures of teenagers up and down the country, having just completed his GCSEs at the Lincoln Minster School. Jack has to balance motorsport with his education.

“It’s been tough, very hard. Although I missed a lot of time in the run up to my exams this year, it was the years before 10 and 11 that built up to that. The time where I was missing the odd days in the week during karting was where it began to get hard and I missed out.

“Now I’m away for even longer periods of time it’s even harder. My GSCE results were pretty good, but you have to put in the time and effort away from school and racing. I think my A-levels will be even harder to be honest, but I know what I need to do and I have to make the time up when I’m not at the circuit or back home.” With any promising young driver, Formula One is the holy grail of motorsport and Jack is no different.

“We haven’t set a certain path of where we want to go or a timetable. I obviously want to be involved in motorsport and clearly F1 would be the first choice. But at the minute I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing now and will see where that takes me to. It’s a long and hard path up to Formula One and just to be involved with a factory team at any level is a big achievement for a driver.”

Jack’s sporting hero Michael Schumacher would be very proud of his own confidence in his ability. “I look at him and try to see where I could be better and do things differently and go further. I always want to do something better than the last person and be better than whoever has gone and set the records before me.”

After an impressive start to his career, and with his enthusiasm and confidence, in five to ten years we could see a Lincoln born driver as Jack battles for the Formula One championship.

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