Home FeaturesDriver profiles Next Brit rising the ladder with Racing Steps: Jack Harvey

Next Brit rising the ladder with Racing Steps: Jack Harvey

by Peter Allen

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography/RSF

Supported by the same scheme that has taken Oliver Turvey and James Calado to the cusp of Formula 1, Jack Harvey is heading the race for this year’s British Formula 3 title…

Name: Jack Harvey
Date of birth:
15 April 1993 (age 18)
Leading British F3 standings

Jack had a tricky first year in F3 last season. Not only was he having the learn the car, but he was also in the unusual situation of having to learn the circuits of his home nation, having previously only raced on the continent in Formula BMW Europe.

This year he has stuck around for a second year in the series and an assault on the title, and is the championship leader after the opening meeting at Oulton Park after making a race-winning start.

Jack began karting at the age of nine, and won his first title the following year with the WTP Cadet crown. One year later in 2004 he was WTP ‘O’ Plate champion and also finished fourth in MSA Super One, BRDC Stars of Tomorrow and Kartmasters British Grand Prix in the cadet class. 2005 saw him move up to the Rotax MiniMax class, where he finshed vice Champion in BRDC Stars of Tomorrow and Champion of Champions.

In 2006 he won the MSA Super One Junior Championship and Kartmasters British Grand Prix in the JICA category of karts. After finishing 13th in the CIK FIA European Championship, he won the title the following year in the replacement KF3 category. He also won the Italian Open Masters, the Margutti Trophy and the Kartmasters British Grand Prix, as well as finishing second in the Monaco Kart Cup and third in the WSK International Series.

For his final year of karting in 2008 he stepped up to KF2, winning the CIK FIA Asia-Pacific title and finishing as vice-champion in the WSK International Series.

2009 saw Jack make the move into single-seaters, contesting the Formula BMW Europe series with Fortec Motorsport, with backing from the Racing Steps Foundation. He finished seventh in the final standings, and second in the rookie cup behind Robin Frijns. He won once race, from pole position, at Zandvoort in support of the F3 Masters event.

Jack leads Robin Frijns and Carlos Sainz Jr in 2010 (Photo: BMW AG)

Remaining in the championship in 2010, Jack took seven wins from the 16 races, one more than rival Frijns. Jack led the points going into the final round at Monza, but a collision in the first race left him in the gravel at the Parabolica, while Frijns recorded his sixth win of the year and took the points lead. It was only Jack’s first retirement of the year, and Frijns had also retired once earlier in the year. But Jack had also finished a race in ninth place, whereas all of Frijns’ other finishes came inside the top four. As a result, victory in the season finale was not enough for Jack to overhaul Frijns for the title.

Jack moved on to British Formula 3 for 2011, with top team Carlin. He struggled in the opening four rounds of the season, only scoring points in three of the 12 races. Things turned around for him though when the series visited the Nurburgring, where he had raced in BMWs. He won the reverse grid race there, and then picked up podium finishes at Paul Ricard in France and Spa in Belgium. Once the series returned home he scored further podiums at Rockingham and Donington, finishing the season in ninth place in the standings but only seven points shy of eighth.

He remains with Carlin for a title assault in 2012, and got his campaign off to a good start at Oulton Park with a double pole position, victory in the first race and a second-place in the third race. He leads the points standings after the first of ten race weekends.

Talent rating: Jack showed his talent with multiple titles in karting, and very nearly added the Formula BMW Europe title to those. His first year in F3 was tricky, but Felipe Nasr also struggled with the step up to F3 from FBMW. Jack looks well placed to succeed Nasr as champion should he maintain his current form, becoming the first British champion since 2006. 8/10

Chances of making it to F1: Racing Steps backing will make sure that Jack makes it as far as GP2 within a couple of years. How he does from there will depend on his performances and securing support from an F1 team or another sponsor, with RSF only likely to pay for one season of GP2. 7/10

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Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography