Harvey, the 2012 British Formula 3 champion, switched to the U.S. open-wheel ladder system after finishing fifth in the 2013 GP3 Series with two wins. For two straight years he finished runner-up in Indy Lights with the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team, but without the champion’s scholarship funding, was unable to graduate to IndyCar.
However, in 2017 he made a one-off start in the Indianapolis 500 with an Andretti Autosport car run by sportscar racing expert Michael Shank, who had long been trying to expand his team into U.S. open-wheel racing. At the end of that year, Harvey also landed a couple of starts with his old employers Schmidt Peterson.
Michael Shank, as well as new team partner but longer-term sponsor Jim Meyer of Sirius XM, also had funding from AutoNation, and entered a technical partnership with Schmidt Peterson to race part-time in IndyCar – six races in 2018, 10 in ’19 – and in the latter year, Harvey finished third in the soaking GP of Indianapolis on the IMS road course.
Following SPM’s morph into Arrow McLaren SP and a switch to Chevrolet engines, the Honda-devoted Shank switched the MSR’s technical partnership to Andretti Autosport for 2020. Harvey was desperately unlucky to finish only 15th in the championship, frequently showing great pace in qualifying, and regularly outpacing Andretti Autosport’s more experienced and higher-profile drivers.
While Meyer Shank scored its first win this year, it was in the hands of Helio Castroneves, who drove the second MSR-Honda, a part-time entry, to a famous victory in the Indianapolis 500. Today it was announced that both MSR’s entries in 2022 would be full-time, and that while Castroneves will race the #06, the #60 will no longer be driven by Harvey.
Harvey responded to the news on social media.
“It’s a certainty in life that things will change and I am incredibly thankful for my time at Meyer Shank Racing,” he wrote. “There is no doubt, I would not be where I am today without their support.
“I will never stop being proud of the work we’ve done together in building this team from “the little team that could could’ into a weekly contender and, ultimately, an Indianapolis 500 winner. The progress made by the team over the past 5 years is a testament to the commitment and class of people within the organization.
“Mike Shank is a true racer and I could not have asked for a better mentor to help me in navigating the waters of IndyCar early in my career. We’ve learned together, supported each other, celebrated together, and the progress I’ve made has been elevated by his guidance.
“I’m a true believe that everything happens for a reason and chance encounter with Jim Meyer at a dinner party lead to one of the most authentic relationships I have in motorsports. Jim’s impact was felt from the moment he joined the team and you’d be challenged to find a person more passionate about racing in the paddock. Jim’s commitment to improving the team, growing our partnerships and his neverending support made even the toughest days seem better. You knew something great was just around the corner because Jim believed it.
“Adam Rovazzini and the entire crew at Meyer Shank Racing are the true legends of this team. Their friendship, effort, work and sacrifice are what drove the progress of this young group. I’m incredibly thankful for everything they’ve done for me and I’ll always be cheering for them.
“Partnerships are what makes this sport work and none of this would have been possible without the support of AutoNation, SiriusXM, Cometic, Honda, the Keneedy family and many others. Marc, Roxi and the team at AutoNation have been with us since Day 1. Their belief in my ability to compete has contributed immensely to my confidence and ultimately our team’s success on track. I’m so thankful for your support and guidance and I’m pleased that we’ll be able to continue our relationship well into the future.
“We’re often faced with difficult decisions in our lives and this one was no exception, but there are many opportunities on the road ahead and I’m eager to share my long-term plans soon. For now, I’ll remain focused on my performance each week. I’m hungrier than ever to get my first IndyCar win and the team at Meyer Shank Racing has proven that it’s possible.”
Photo by: IndyCar