Written by Jonathan Hart
Lincolnshire racing ace Jack Harvey has announced he’ll drive in America’s Indy Lights Series this year, after admitting his F1 dreams have been dashed by drivers who pay to be in the sport.
He claimed the fact many Formula 1 team bosses are selecting pay drivers, who provide huge sponsorship funds rather than scouting them on talent has influenced his state-side switch.
The 20-year-old who competed in GP3 last year said, racing in the Indy car support series was his best option, because he’s unable to cough up the millions needed to reach Formula 1.
“More than 50% of the grid is paying to be in Formula 1, whereas in America they still take talent over just money.
“If I have a good year the chance of racing in Indy car in 2015 is realistically quite high,” said Harvey who has signed for Indy Lights front runners Schmit Peterson Motorsport.
“In F1 you can be a really good driver with £15m and another driver could come along with £25m and push you out of the seat.
“That’s stupid money, and it’s not even to race for one of the best teams,” said Harvey who would claim a scholarship package of nearly $1 million to if he won the Indy Lights championship.
Despite the promise of a future in America’s leading single-seater formula, Indy Car, the switch represents a major risk for the Bassingham born racer, who will have 10 new tracks to learn.
Harvey who finished fifth in the GP3 Series last year has gained most of his experience on European tracks to date, but said he’s only daunted by the race calendar’s three oval circuits.
“I don’t think learning the twisty tracks will be too bad, but I the ovals will prove quite a challenge.
“Ovals are incredibly tricky and anyone who thinks it’s easy is kidding themselves. On an oval you’re taking off so much down-force to be faster in a straight-line, that it gets very tricky in the corners,” explained the 2012 British Formula Three Champion.
The Indy Lights cars which are manufactured by Dallara Automoboli have 460 horsepower V8 engines, and Harvey said this marks a major increase in power from his cars in previous championships.
“The average speed of some of the tracks is about 190mph and you’ll be topping out at about 210. That’s fast. It’s a totally different technique and a totally different animal.
“There’s a lot to learn and get right, but the team should be able to help me a lot with their championship winning experience.
The first chance to see Harvey race in the Indy Lights series will be in round 1 of the championship in St Petersburg, Florida.Tweet