|European kart champion Jack Harvey took a fantastic victory in the opening final of the MSA Super One British championship at the Three Sisters circuit near Wigan on Sunday. The factory Birel Motorsport driver dominated the first of the two points-scoring races at the north western venue but missed out on a double celebration when he was shunted out of the second event at the first corner.|
The Newark Steel-backed racer, who will be celebrating his 15th birthday this week, set the KF2 class pace from the moment the team put the kart down on Friday morning for free practice. In the fist qualifying session he took pole position in the damp conditions, but lost out to a handful of other drivers who had a slightly drier track in the second session.
Once the races got underway though, Jack immediately started to show his class by working his way through the pack to claim second place in the first heat. In the second heat he got a better start and after getting into the lead early on he pulled away and cruised to the chequered flag, saving his tyres for the two finals later in the day.
For the first final Jack had a front row starting position but dropped back to fourth place on the opening lap. Within a couple of laps his kart set-up started to come into its own and after picking off the guys ahead of him one by one, he pulled away to take an emphatic victory, his first for the Birel squad.
“It was great to finally take victory for Birel,” said Jack. “We had the head people from the factory over for the event and everything just worked perfectly from the moment we put the chassis on the ground on Friday morning. We were right at the sharp end of the times and it felt exactly how it should do. The engine from Iame was spot on, the whole team was brilliant, and so it was great to give them a win in return for their hard work. It was just a shame I wasn’t able to do the double though,” he added.
After his win in the first final, Jack lined up on pole for the second and after leading the pack round for the start knew that he would have to work hard to keep the rest of the field at bay in the early stages. However, as the lights went green and the pack filed into the first corner he was hit twice, with the second nudge enough to spin him round completely to face the entire grid head on before ending up on the edge of the track.
He was able to immediately re-join the race, but the contact had damaged one of his rear wheels, which resulted in a slow puncture, putting him out of contention and half a lap adrift of the field.
Jack was left frustrated at what he was sure would have been a double victory, but came away from the weekend knowing that he has the pace to make regular trips to the top step of the podium.
“There was a lot of shoving and jostling on the run up to the start-line,” he said. “I’d kept the pack fairly bunched up as I’m meant to as the pole position driver, but I could feel it on the run down to the lights. As they went green I knew I’d have a busy couple of early laps as the kart settled in, but as I turned in I got one shove but was able to correct it.”
“Then I got hit again and I was round before I could do anything about it. It was certainly an eye-opening experience facing the rest of the pack as they came at me at full tilt! Despite the incident though, it was a brilliant weekend for me. We’ve been on the pace and usually the fastest at every event we’ve been to this season and have been working on getting everything to come together in time for the main championships to start and it has.”
“The guys at Birel and Iame have given me a fantastic kart and it has been a very promising weekend in term of the rest of the season. I can’t wait for the second rounds of the WSK and Super One championships now,” he added.
Jack now has a four week break before he gets back into European competition, with the second round of the WSK KF2 Championship taking place in early May.