Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg
Streets of St Petersburg - St Petersburg, FLMore InformationVIEW RACE RESULTS
Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg
LOSS OF TYRE PRESSURE CAUSES BRITISH RACING DRIVER JACK HARVEY TO RETIRE FROM FIFTH POSITION IN ST PETE. INDYCAR RACE
March 11, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The opening race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season ended in disappointment for British racing driver Jack Harvey, when a sudden loss of tyre pressure in his right rear tyre resulted in him losing the back end of the car and caused him to collide with a wall.
The Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver was running in fifth place and was targeting a podium finish when he was forced to retire on lap 38.
Harvey’s race weekend had run solidly, having posted quick lap times during the practice sessions, building the pace to occasionally sit within the top ten and then at one time setting times just four tenths off of the leader during the final hour long practice session on Saturday morning.
Qualifying saw him alternate between two sets of Firestone reds during the ten-minute session. Harvey pushed to get the most out of the tyres throughout the session, but was only able to extract a lap time of 01:01.0270, which placed him 19th.
Commenting on qualifying, Jack Harvey said; “our first set on Firestone reds went pretty well. We just couldn’t improve the right amount on the second set to progress. Where we are starting will give us the opportunity to move up which is great. Now we will just look at strategy and try to see what we can do to have a good race.”
On Sunday afternoon, Harvey lined up on the tenth row of the grid for the 111 lap race. Making a textbook start, he was up four places by the end of the opening lap. Opting for an alternate strategy, Harvey pitted on lap four. After the frantic race action saw a series of full course cautions, Harvey kept a cool head at the restarts and after less than one quarter race distance, was up to fifth place.
On lap 38 an unexpected rear tyre issue forced Harvey into a spin and after making contact with the wall on a high speed section of the circuit, he was forced to retire.
“We had a strong start and gained a few positions before the first corner,” said Jack Harvey. “We aren’t exactly sure what happened just yet. I was in the middle of Turns 11 and 12 and the tyre just went and then I had contact with the wall. Up until that point we were having a pretty good weekend and running really well in the race. We’re pretty confident that we were running the same strategy as Bourdais and Rahal, so could have been challenging for a podium finish. It’s really disappointing that we didn’t see the checkered flag today, but the guys have done a really great job and we will just keep moving forward. I have a great team of people behind me and we will come back strong at Long Beach.”
“We were on an alternative strategy along with I think three or four other cars and it was playing out very well for us,” said team owner, Mike Shank. “Jack was able to run in the top six pretty easily. We are not sure what caused the problem. The right rear tyre was down. I just don’t know how or why it was down but when he went to go back to the left, the tyre was gone-it was off the rim and that spun us and put us in the wall. It is really too bad. Everyone involved with this program-AutoNation and SiriusXM- they are going to support us through bad times and good times but they are there for us. We’ll just go back and regroup and fix the car. We’ve got the test for the Indianapolis 500 coming up and then on to Long Beach.”
Next up for Harvey is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15th.
Notes to Editors
Background information on Jack and the associated companies involved may be found in our For Press section.