|Multiple kart racing champion Jack Harvey will make the biggest change in his motor-racing career this season, as he moves from kart into car racing. With backing from the Racing Steps Foundation he will launch an assault on the Formula BMW Euroseries - a support package of the FIA Formula One World Championship.|
The Lincolnshire based driver will compete in the one-make championship with the front-running Fortec Motorsport team, who has been chosen by the Racing Steps Foundation to give Jack the best opportunity to aim for the ‘Rookie’ title in his first year in the sport. Alpinestars and Arai will also provide support to Jack throughout the course of the 2009 season.
The 15-year-old reigning Asia-Pacific and former European champion is excited about taking the next major step towards Formula One. However, he is keen to get to grips with the team and the car as much as possible prior to the first round of the season in Barcelona, Spain on May 10. This will put him onto the same circuits as current World Champion Lewis Hamilton, as well as former Formula BMW race winners Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica.
“I’m incredibly happy to be making this move in my career this year,” said Jack. “I’m anxious to see how the year goes and to see what happens. But I’m going to try and maximise the opportunity that the Racing Steps Foundation has given me to compete at such a high level in my first season of car racing.
“I’m looking at 2009 as a learning year. My aim is to make an improvement every time I get into the car, whether it’s testing or over the race weekends. But, I still want to win races although I’m not going to expect to turn up each weekend and put it on pole. The rookie title if definitely a target for me, but I’d like to hope that I can be mixing it with the guys with more experience throughout the season, hopefully from the first round, but we’ll see,” he added.
Derek Walters, who runs the Racing Steps Foundation, was enthusiastic about Jack’s chances of success in 2009 and what brought the youngster to his attention.
“We had seen Jack’s results in karting over the last couple of years and after he had his initial test in the Formula BMW car he continued to impress us with his professionalism and his pace. We agreed that BMW was the right place for him to be and we’re excited about him being part of the programme. He’s very focussed and it would be nice to see him win the rookie title in his first season, certainly,” he said.
Additionally, Fortec Motorsport team boss, Richard Dutton is delighted to have Jack on board for his first full season and is also expecting some good results over the course of the year.
“I’ve known about Jack for quite a while and had my eye on him. His results in karts show he has plenty of potential and his early testing pace has been very good. The team is already impressed with him and he is proving to be very professional and focussed on what he needs to do,” he said. “I’m excited about what we can achieve over the course of the season. The rookie title is definitely there, but it would be nice to think we can do more than that,” he added.
Whilst eager to prove his ability in Formula BMW, Jack will miss his karting career and is disappointed to no longer be a part of Birel Motorsport.
“I’m grateful to Ronni Sala and the entire Birel Motorsport team for allowing me to make the move to cars. I was looking forward to a successful year in the Super KF class this year, though; I felt it was the right option and the right time to make the progression to Formula racing. I wish them every success in 2009. I had a fantastic time with them and have made some great friends. I know they will take some great results this season,” he said.
Although sad to lose such potential, Birel Motorsport boss Ronni Sala was full of praise for his 2008 KF2 factory driver.
“Jack is a very professional driver and we had some great success with him. He has a very mature approach to his driving and he always gets the best result possible on the day, which is important to win championships. I am 100% certain that he will be successful in car racing and everyone at Birel is happy that he has this chance to move up,” he said.
Jack is now at the start of a hectic testing schedule at various circuits across Europe to help bring him up to speed with both the car and the team, before starting what looks to be a promising season. The next few months will be incredibly busy for the Lincoln Minster School pupil, as he takes GCSE exams throughout May and June. The school are delighted with his success and support him throughout all of his racing and educational needs.