Harvey test crash could ruin 2016 IndyCar race chances

Jack Harvey - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Jack Harvey’s testing crash at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday may prevent the British racer from making his Verizon IndyCar Series race debut later this season.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsport were giving the quick Briton a test this week with a view to giving Harvey a seat in a third car at one of the season ending rounds at either Watkins Glen or Sonoma, but shunted the car at turn six during the morning session that curtailed his day’s running.

“Jack had a shunt at Turn 6 which is a little strange – not the usual place to crash there, and so unusual that there wasn’t a protective tire wall there so he hit a concrete wall,” said team owner Sam Schmidt.

“It was a typical rookie off-course excursion in one sense, losing the back end, but without tires there, that is why there was so much damage and why he was done for the day.

“For both Zach [Claman De Melo] and him, we weren’t really treating them like rookies; we had given them actual tasks, a bunch of aero and damper stuff that we needed to get through and couldn’t use private days. So they had a strict regimen of things to do. But I want to say it was 11.30am, just before lunch, when Jack went off. He wasn’t doing anything crazy.

“So we’ll do a proper analysis of the car, because it’s extremely unlike Jack. In two years of racing Indy Lights for us, he never put a wheel wrong and crashed, unless someone drove into him. So we’ll look at it tomorrow and see what the deal was and go on.

“We had hoped to run Jack in a third car at either Watkins Glen or Sonoma, and use this test as a launch pad to create interest. But that might be too difficult now; I don’t know.”

Schmidt believes Harvey is deserving of a change within the Verizon IndyCar Series, and praised the Briton for not giving up on his career in the championship, never being far away from the team when they need assistance.

“Jack definitely has been deserving of a chance and has always raced well for us,” said Schmidt. “And he’s spent the whole year sleeping on a couch in Indy and working for the team and helping out where he can; I give him credit for staying active and being a presence.

“But this accident may have thrown a wrench in our plans for this year at least, because it will be expensive. That would be a shame because I think he could be quite good in one of the big cars.”