Harvey Seals Victory In First Italian Open Event


Lincolnshire karting star Jack Harvey took another sensational victory in European competition at the weekend, when he won the opening round of the Italian Open Championship at the southern circuit of Sarno.

The works Maranello Kart driver was made to work for his second win of the season on Italian soil, after he struggled in qualifying and could only set the 17th best time in his group.

Some outstanding driving by the reigning Junior British Champion showed the rest of the European field exactly what he is capable of. A fantastic drive from the back of the grid to make up a staggering 26 places in just six laps in one heat put him right back into contention in the run up to the all important finals.

In the first final, a carburetor problem hampered his progress over the first five laps before he was able to solve it, all the while trying to maintain his grid position against the chasing pack. However, in the latter half of the race he had to concede two places as he struggled with a kart that was suffering from a lack of grip.

Seventh on the grid for the grand final meant that Jack had given himself a great chance for glory once again and as the lights went green he dived through the pack and up into second place. Over the first six laps he traded places with two of his rivals, before finally breaking into the lead and pulling out a one second gap over the chasing pair.

A calm and smooth drive to the chequered flag was all that was then required for Jack to pick up yet another winners trophy.

"I'm really happy to be back on the top step of the podium again," he smiled. "It was a hard weekend but very enjoyable for me. We were very, very fast in the dry at the start of the weekend but the changeable weather conditions make it tricky, especially in qualifying, so we had to work hard in the heats to get the best chance in the finals."

"The first one was frustrating as I was hoping to get a slightly better result but the carb' problem meant I had to fight to keep my place rather than make them up. The second final went really well, though, I was able to move up to second place really quickly at the start and once I got into the lead it was a case of bringing it home to the flag," he added.

The results put Jack second in the Italian Open KF3 standings, just four points behind his rival and Maranello Kart team-mate Petri Suvanto. He now has a three week break before heading back out to the Zaragoza circuit in Spain for he second round of the WSK Championship in the middle of April.


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Harvey Takes Third In WSK Opening Round


Lincolnshire karting star Jack Harvey continued his successful assault on the European kart racing scene, as he picked up third place in the KF3 (JICA) class of the Winning Series of Karting (WSK) championship at the Sarno circuit in southern Italy.

The reigning Junior British Champion was immediately on the pace at another circuit he had never seen before when testing got underway earlier in the week, setting some quick times against some of his more experienced rivals.

A problem for the factory Maranello Kart driver in qualifying meant that he would have to work hard in the heats. Some stunning driving allowed him to take two second places and a third to claim a front row spot for the first final.

Unfortunately, a carburetor problem from the moment the kart took to the track, meant that Jack was unable to run at the front and he dropped back to 9th place at the chequered flag, giving himself a mountain to climb in the grand final.

Hard work by the Maranello Kart team put the kart back to where Jack needed it and a blistering start in the final allowed him to move into the top five, before having a battle just outside the podium positions.

Some great driving allowed him to pass and pull away from the second pack and close in on the eventual runner-up, moving within striking distance on the very last lap. However, Jack was pleased with his weekend and his pace on another track that he had never experienced.

"I'm pleased to come away from the opening round of the WSK series with a podium result," he said. "I didn't get a great amount of testing time so we had to find the best set-up we could as quickly as possible and in the grand final I was second fastest, so we definitely had the pace to challenge for the win."

"If I'd had a better result in the semi-final I'd have been in with a chance of taking another victory. I don't know what happened to the carburetor from the heats but I had to alter the settings a lot to get it somewhere near to where I needed it in the opening laps, which cost me places and time. But, we got a good result in the end and there are another four rounds of the series to go,"

Jack will head back to Sarno next weekend for the start of his second major championship of the season, the Italian Open series.

"I can't wait to go back next weekend," he said. "The team worked really hard before the final and we will have a great baseline to work from when we go back there. I'll be aiming to step onto the podium again, this time a couple of steps higher though," he added.

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Balfe Team Moves Into Radical World Cup For 2007


The Balfe Motorsport team will continue to race on the international stage in 2007 as Shaun Balfe teams up with his former partner and fellow 2004 Spanish GT Champion Nigel Taylor to enter the Radical World Cup.

The Lincolnshire based team has spent the last two years in the FIA GT Championship. However, this season Balfe and Taylor will head back to the Radical marque in its new top level one-make series, which supports the Le Mans Endurance Series over the course of the year.

A 350 horsepower Radical SR8 will be the teams' new car for this year, the same type that Shaun and Nigel took to three wins out of four at Cadwell Park two years ago, along with Balfe shattering the outright lap record in his maiden drive in the SR8 at the venue.

The races will be 100km in length, rather than against the clock, with driver changes in the middle. As if that wasn't enough, there will be two of them over the course of a race weekend! So it will be a fast and challenging year for the squad at a handful of famous venues across Europe.

"It should be a great season in the Radical," said Shaun Balfe. "Personally, I didn't want a busy calendar for 2007, with my second child born last November and also wanting to concentrate on the family construction business. The four double-header races in the World Cup calendar ticks all the boxes for me, great tracks, fast car and a competitive championship"

The four rounds of the series will take place at some of the best venues in Europe, starting at Valencia in Spain in early May, before moving to the Nurburgring in Germany, Spa Francorchamps in Belgium then onto home soil at Silverstone for the final round in September. The team will also take on a couple of rounds of the UK SR8 championship throughout the year for the drivers to 'keep their eye in' over the summer.

"With the Radical we can enter the other series throughout the year if we want to test the car or any developments we've made. There are also several European championships that we can dip into as well, so there is plenty for us to have a go at if we want to increase our programme over the course of the season," added Balfe.

The squad is now preparing the SR8 in readiness for a handful of tests to get ready for the start of the season in May. For more information and for dates of the series, visit the Balfe Motorsport website at

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Harvey Lifts Margutti Trophy To Start European Season In Style

Lincolnshire karting star Jack Harvey took an dominant victory in the KF3 (formally JICA) class of the prestigious Margutti Trophy meeting at the Parma circuit in northern Italy on Sunday (March 4).

The factory Maranello Kart racer went out to the annual one-off season opening event with the intention of bringing back his first silverware of the 2007 season. The 13-year-old Lincoln Minster School pupil has returned back to Bassingham in Lincolnshire with the Margutti Cup, making his mark against the best that Europe has to offer.

At the start of the weekend Jack set out his intentions by setting the third fastest time in qualifying, which put him on the front row for his opening heat in his group. He promptly took victory, putting him on pole position for heat two, where he dropped back but still took the runner-up spot.

His two superb heat results meant that he lined up in second place in the semi-final. A hard fought third place was his reward by the time he reached the chequered flag. However, the Maranello team went to work on the kart and found that Jack had been racing with a couple of technical problems that were hampering the karts speed and performance, impressing the team with his pace on a kart that wasn't quite 100%.

In the Grand Final Jack blasted away at the start, moving up from fifth to third by the time the field reached the first corner. By the end of lap two he had moved into second place and was beginning to move away from the rest of the field and gave chase to the leader.
Just before the half-way point Jack caught a stroke of good luck as the leader he was closing in on had to retire with an engine problem. A series of fast laps moved him away from his rivals and into the record books as he crossed the line for his first major European victory.

"I'm just over the moon with this result," said Jack afterwards. "I was determined to get a good result here this weekend and I knew that we had the pace to do it. But, to win is just brilliant and it shows that we are in the right position as the two major championships get underway soon. We can challenge for more wins and aim for the titles there too," he added.

"The team worked so well all weekend and it's good to finally bring home a result for Maranello Kart. They've had the faith in me since the start of the season and I want to keep this momentum up now and keep picking up the results," he added.

Jack's Maranello Kart UK team manager, Fraser Sheader, was at the Parma circuit to watch him lift the KF3 class Margutti Trophy and was also pleased with his performance over the course of the meeting.

"It's been a great weekend for Jack and for Maranello Kart," he said. "It's been a little bit frustrating, for us and Jack as we've known we've had the pace to get a result like this for the last three or four meetings. This weekend it all just clicked into place.

"In the final Jack just got his head down and went for it to the flag, there was no stopping him. We will definitely be going out for the rest of the season with the intention to keep repeating the result," he added.

Jack now gets ready for the opening round of the WSK (World Series of Karting) at the Sarno track in southern Italy in two weeks time (March 16-18).

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