Cool-headed Harvey holds his nerve to win F3 crown
Jack Harvey has joined a select group of motor racing legends by winning the British Formula 3 Championship.
The Lincolnshire racing driver produced a double victory at Donington Park as he came from behind to surpass his title rivals during a near perfect final weekend.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver entered the Donington round in third place in the standings and had Carlin team-mate Jazeman Jaafar and Fortec Motorsport's Felix Serralles standing between him and his goal.
But a determined Harvey showed his intentions immediately with a double pole in qualifying on Saturday.
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He then drove to a faultless victory in race one, before he followed that on Sunday with a sixth place in the reverse grid race and a superb win in the season finale, despite coming under intense pressure from Alex Lynn.
Harvey, 19, led from pole to chequered flag in a performance which saw him deservedly claim the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 title.
"This weekend has been pretty perfect, two wins, double pole, just fantastic," said an emotional Harvey.
"I am smiling, but I am speechless. This is what we have been working towards for so long. I shed a few tears on my in-lap and when I saw my mum.
"I was looking for a few people when I got out of the car. My dad and Mr Boston (his race engineer Matt Ogle)."
Harvey joins an illustrious list of previous Formula 3 title winners, including Jim Clark, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Mika Häkkinen, who all went on to win F1 World Championships.
The former Lincoln Minster School pupil dreams of one day racing in Formula One, but his next step up the motorsport ladder is likely to be GP3.
"This should certainly give us some confidence of where we could be in the future," Harvey added.
"To win the Formula 3 Championship is a great thing to have on your CV.
"Some great names have previously won the title and gone down in history and now I have joined that very select group of people."
Harvey's victory was watched at Donington by Derek Walters from the Racing Steps Foundation, who confirmed the organisation would be backing the Bassingham driver again next season.
"This year Jack has worked so hard and he has been totally engaged with the programme," said Walters.
"He spends a lot of time with the engineers down at Carlin and his personal fitness and his whole attitude have been absolutely superb.
"He has lifted his game and now he's got the result that he wanted which is lovely to see.
"We have a programme for Jack in 2013. Much of it is still under discussion and negotiation, but we certainly have a plan for him.
"We are looking at a couple of options, but the new specification GP3 series, with the new 400 horse power engine, and racing at the Formula One circuits seems probably the more logical next step for Jack.
"A lot of people have looked at Jack over the years. He was extremely good in the karting scene and he almost won the BMW Championship in Europe, narrowly missing out by being pushed off the circuit in Monza.
"The great thing about Jack, which many people have observed, is that he has great mental strength.
"That strength manifested itself in the final race at Donington.
"He was under so much pressure on the track, but his determination and being cool in the heat of battle certainly came to the surface."