Harvey Stuns KF2 Class With Podium On International Debut


Jack Harvey stunned the KF2 category of karting on his debut in the class at the weekend with a fantastic drive from the back of the field to take third place in the Winter Cup at the Lonato circuit in Italy.

The reigning KF3 European Champion and factory Birel Motorsport driver had set out his stall in the opening qualifying session, taking pole position in his group, amongst a staggering 132 kart field. However, a technical supply issue meant that his times were unable to count, putting him to the back of the grid for his opening heat, effectively in 130th place.

A sensational first race allowed Jack to climb from 28th to sixth place in the ten lap sprint, setting the fastest lap in the process. A 13th place finish in the second heat, also from the back of the field and once again with another fastest lap to his credit, gave him an eighth row starting place for the semi-final. A brilliant drive through the 14-lap event meant he narrowly missed out on the podium, settling for fourth place.

His hard work gave him a sixth row starting position for the grand final, with a handful of more experienced drivers ahead of him for the epic 28-lap race. As the lights went green Jack immediately set about making up ground on the leaders and within a handful of laps had moved into sixth place. Another charge allowed him to move into third place, with the leaders seemingly out of reach after breaking away from the rest of the pack.

However, as the pair in front began to battle with each other, Jack put in a sensational series of laps to close right up on the top two, finishing just three tenths of a second behind as the chequered flag fell. An incredibly happy Harvey was pleased to be back on podium-taking form on his Birel debut in the senior class of racing.

"I'm incredibly pleased with how the weekend turned out and to be on the podium in my first major KF2 event," he said. "If you had told me at the start of the weekend that I would be coming away with third place I'd have taken it there and then!"

"I got a good start in the final and I had to pick my way through to get up to the front pair as they had broken away right at the start. By the time I got up to third I knew they might be too far ahead, but they started battling with each other and I just got my head down and as we started the last lap I was right on them. If there had been another lap I could have challenged for the lead."

"It was hard work coming from the back throughout the heats, but the team worked brilliantly and I'm really happy to get this result for Birel too, especially at my first event with the factory team. It's a great way to start my first season in the senior category," he added.

Ref: JHKF20803

New Team, New Class And New Challenges For Harvey As 2008 Season Gets Underway


Reigning KF3 European Champion, Jack Harvey, begins his 2008 season next weekend as he heads to Garda in Italy for the Winter Cup, where he will enter his first major event for the Birel Motorsport Team in the senior KF2 category.

The Bassingham in Lincolnshire based racer had an epic 2007, taking a staggering four international and national titles. However, the 14-year-old Alpinestars backed youngster is vowing to keep his feet firmly on the ground as he enters his most important season to date, but is still going out to Italy with the main aim to cross the line first at the end of the weekend.

"After such a great year last year I will be looked at as being one of the guys to beat. But I'm stepping up into a category that's new to me and I'm going to approach it in the same way as I have always done, work hard and drive as fast as I can and aim to win," said Jack. "We've worked really hard in testing so far and it seems to be paying off in terms of lap times and speed."

"Obviously, I'd like to repeat the success from last year and pre-season testing has been going really well for me. I'm getting on really well with the guys at Birel and we've been trying a lot of different things in the run up to Garda and we've always been at the top end of the timings every time we're out on track, so it's looking good so far. But, you can never tell until you actually start racing and the Winter Cup will be a good marker as to how we stack up for the first half of the season," he added.

12-months ago, Jack had a torrid opening event to 2007 at this event, but bounced back immediately at the Margutti Trophy by taking victory. He knows that he has the speed and talent to run at the front in the KF2 class and has been faster than some of the established class runners so far. But he knows that he won't know exactly where he stands until about mid-season.

"It will take a while to see exactly where everyone is in terms of consistent pace and results, probably by about mid-way through the year to be honest. But I'll be trying to get the best result possible at every event in 2008 to keep the momentum going from last year."

Despite being up against a host of new rivals already used to the KF2 machinery, one aspect of which is hand controlled front brakes which Jack has had to get to grips with over the winter, as well as a raft of his former KF3 rivals who have also made the move up, he can't wait to get back into the thick of racing once again.

"I'm really, really looking forward to getting back to racing again too, especially after such a busy time over the winter, with signing to Birel and then getting to grips with a hectic testing schedule. I can't wait for the weekend to get underway, then I'll know my 2008 season is properly started and I can get on with doing what I do best, racing," he added.

Jack will head out to the Italian venue early next week for a final test session, before the event gets underway on Friday, with the all important final taking place on Sunday afternoon.

Ref: JHKF20802