Friday’s qualifying session was one of the closest of the season, but Harvey came out on top, setting a new lap record of 1:15.0639, and claiming pole position for both races.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver lined up on the first row of the grid for Friday afternoon’s race. Harvey, Active Lincolnshire’s Sportsman of the Year for the last two years, dominated from the very start, and the rest of the field wasn’t able to get close to him during the 30-lap race. Harvey crossed the finish line almost five seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, claiming a further 30 Championship points.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver was in pole position for the second race of the weekend. At the start of the race Harvey was squeezed by Rayhall and moved down to P2. On lap three the track was put under a full course caution for Pigot’s retirement and at the restart Harvey made a move on Rayhall for the race lead, but was pushed down to P3 by Serralles. Undeterred, Harvey continued to push and set a series of fastest laps before reclaiming P2 from Serralles.
In the closing laps of the race, Harvey continued to close the gap to race leader Rayhall and the race looked set for an exciting finale, when Harvey’s engine lost drive and went into ‘safety mode’ with just a few corners of the race to go. A visor tear-off had got stuck in Harvey’s radiator when he’d been behind the safety car earlier in the race and caused the engine to overheat and go into ‘safety mode’. Crushingly, with limited engine power, he dropped back down the field to P5.
“It’s been a weekend of mixed emotions! Friday was pretty much a perfect day; we qualified on pole, won and also set the fastest lap in the race. We’ve been working hard all season for this first win and although four P2 finishes have been a great achievement, the whole team has been pushing hard for that first win! I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their hard work and support so far – it really is a team effort!” commented Jack Harvey.
“We were looking strong for another P2 finish on Saturday when the car’s engine went into ‘safety mode’ due to the tear-off getting stuck in my radiator, and I lost power. On the positive side, we have closed the gap right up in the Championship fight. There is now only four points between Ed and I, as we head to the next round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 21st”
Standings for 2015 Indy Lights Championship after four race weekends:
- Ed Jones 166 points
- Jack Harvey 162 points
- Spencer Pigot 155 points
- Max Chilton 126 points
- RC Enerson 117 points