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British racing driver Jack Harvey today finished P16 at the Grand Prix of Portland Verizon IndyCar Series event in the Meyer Shank Racing with SPM No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda.

In Sunday’s 105-lap event, Harvey consistently raced as high as fifth, before the timing of a full course caution in the closing stages of the race dropped him down the running order.

Harvey had a very strong performance around the 1.964-mile course in both of the free practice sessions on Friday, finishing fifth fastest. 

The British driver had set his sights on a similar result during Saturday’s tightly-contested qualifying session. Finding speed early on, Harvey’s initial laps were quick enough for third in Group 1, but unfortunately his lap of 57.962-seconds was just hundredths of a second short of the transfer line.

With the entire 25-car field separated by just one second, Harvey ended the session in P13, his best qualifying session of his season so far.

“I had hoped that we could have pulled off a better qualifying result,” said Harvey. “On Friday we had a really good handle on the car and I think today it slipped away from us just a little bit. We’ve shown top ten speed, so not to transfer is pretty disappointing. It’s tough to be on the bubble like that and be the guy to not transfer but it is going to be our highest start of the year. We are making progress, but just a little disappointed that we couldn’t show our pace in qualifying.”

Lining up on the seventh row of the grid, Harvey was targeting a strong race finish.  Avoiding an incident on lap one that took out several of the front runners, Harvey took the restart in sixth place and, finding a fast pace, was on the charge forward before his first pit stop on lap 17. 

By lap 39, Harvey had fought back up to fifth position and running strongly on the Firestone reds. Unfortunately, the pace which would have produced a top five finish, was brought to an end by the final caution period on lap 76 which moved Harvey back down the order following a pit stop one lap earlier.

But not giving up the fight, Harvey pushed until the final moments of the race and crossed the line 16th in the order. 

“The beginning of the race went really well and we cycled out well after that first restart,” commented Harvey. “Unfortunately, after that, we caught every yellow at the wrong moment. This weekend we made so much good progress, it’s a bit disappointing how the race played out. During the first stage of the race we were legitimately running top six and holding it, but then the end result didn't show that. Hopefully we can take a few days to reset and take the positives from this weekend and bring them to Sonoma.”

Mike Shank commented; “We are getting better and faster each race weekend, it’s just been a challenge of ours to get a good track position,” said Shank. “We are working to make all the right calls in the box to get Jack (Harvey) up the field, and I think that showed in the first half of the race. Jack was driving hard and running with guys who have been doing this much more frequently than us. I’m happy that we are making progress and hopefully we can close out the season strong at Sonoma.”

Harvey will compete in the final race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series at the Grand Prix of Sonoma on September 16th, 2018

Posted by Emma Stonier on 07 September 2018 16:09

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