WIN NUMBER SEVEN FOR HARVEY BUT TITLE SNATCHED AWAY AT MONZA Lincolnshire racing driver Jack Harvey picked up his seventh race win of the season in the final round of the Formula BMW Europe Series at Monza in Italy. The 17 year-old once again ...
WIN NUMBER SEVEN FOR HARVEY BUT TITLE SNATCHED AWAY AT MONZA
Lincolnshire racing driver Jack Harvey picked up his seventh race win of the season in the final round of the Formula BMW Europe Series at Monza in Italy. The 17 year-old once again proved to be the class of 2010, adding his seventh and eighth pole positions, while his final victory also gave him his thirteenth podium finish in the sixteen round series.
The Racing Steps Foundation-supported racer kicked off the weekend with double pole position, while his only championship rival, Dutchman Robin Frijns, had to settle for eighth and sixth places on the grid. The Alpinestars-backed ace went out to the last meeting of the year with the sole intention of winning both races and doing everything he could to win the Formula BMW crown.
In the first race on Saturday morning, as the cars set off on their formation lap, another car dropped oil on Jack's pole position spot. As the start lights went out he found himself struggling to get away from the line and had to concede the lead to his team-mate who had started alongside him.
A cautious opening lap meant he was in a good position to fight back for the lead. At the end of lap two as he entered the final Parabolica corner, a rival behind him went for a non-existent gap up the inside and hit Jack's right rear wheel, spinning him off the track and into the gravel with a damaged rear tyre.
The non-finish, his only one of the entire season, effectively handed his title rival the championship crown, going from a nine-point lead to a 21-point deficit with just Sunday's race left to run. However, Jack was determined to continue his plan for the weekend and go for victory, fully aware that anything could happen on Sunday morning.
As the lights went out for the final time this season, Jack got a great start and immediately began to pull away from the rest of the chasing pack. A commanding drive allowed him to pull out a lead of almost three seconds, before easing off on the final lap, taking his seventh victory out of 16 races. Unfortunately, rival Frijns crossed the line in third place, despite a trip through the gravel at one point during the race, giving him the title at the very last round.
After such a dominant season, where he has been the man to beat at every round, Jack was left feeling slightly frustrated at missing out on his first car-racing title. However, he was gracious in defeat after losing out on something that he admitted was 'out of his control'.
"It's been a great season and I've been part of a great team. The Fortec Motorsport guys have worked so hard to give me the best car on the grid and I've won half of the races and finished on the podium in every race apart from three. If I had been racing in any other championship, having lead from the very first race, I may possibly have had enough points before this part of the season to be champion already, so it proves just how competitive and hard the BMW series has been, I've never been able to relax at the front of the points table for a moment," he said.
"Obviously I'm disappointed to have not won the title, especially after having such a superb season this year. I came here with the aim to go out and win both races to seal the championship and that started with both pole positions," he said. "I was in contention to get back in to the lead again yesterday but was taken out of the race and it swung the title battle the other way and put me on the back foot.
"I had to go out and win again today as it was the only chance I had and I needed Robin to finish eighth or lower. I did everything I had to do, but the rest was out of my hands. Things happened this weekend that were just out of our control and it helped to decide the championship.
"I'd like to thank everyone for all of the support this season. The Racing Steps Foundation has had a lot of faith in me and the team and myself tried everything to win the title. All of my friends, family and sponsors have given me so much help throughout the entire year. My aim now is that whatever I am racing in next season I can have the same results and next time come away with my first car-racing championship, it's definitely what I'll be thinking about and pushing for between now and the end of next year," he added.