|Jack Harvey knows his career is dead if he cannot buy his ride|
Racing driver Jack Harvey says his career is in danger of skidding off track because he does not have the necessary financial clout to take the next step.
At the age of just 22, the Lincolnshire racer says he is facing huge uncertainty over his future in motor racing.
Harvey, a former British Formula Three champion, has finished as vice-champion in the USA-based Indy Lights series for the past two years.
Despite huge interest in Harvey's talents from teams in America's premier racing series IndyCar, he could be without a drive at all in 2016. It is a possibility which, by his own admission, could be a death knell for his burgeoning career.
"It's very tough at the moment," admitted the Bassingham-based driver. "It has been a very stressful time, because there is huge uncertainty over my future in racing.
"I have been in regular contact with teams in IndyCar, in fact I have been having talks with most of the IndyCar teams.
"I had a deal on the table at one point. On the Monday it was there, but then the team concerned were involved in a merger and by the Wednesday the deal was gone.
"Frustratingly, on talent alone, the teams are very interested in taking me. Some have indicated I am their first choice driver. But, to secure any drive in the IndyCar series, I would have to bring money with me in terms of sponsorship.
"The sort of money they are talking about, I don't even know how I would even start to raise. For the top IndyCar teams we would be looking at between four and five million dollars. While even the so called lesser teams would need between one and a half and three million dollars.
"Coming to some sort of deal with one of the teams is still possible, it's not completely dead. But it is totally reliant on the money I could take with me."
With such financial pressures evident in the US Harvey says he has had to widen his options and a return to Europe is another possibility this year. Talks are on-going with a team in the World Endurance Championship and a move to GT1 racing has not been ruled out.
Harvey was one of seven drivers who took part in an IndyCar test session at Sonoma Raceway in California last August. And, of all the drivers who had not been in an IndyCar before, Harvey posted the quickest times. Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr was just behind him.
"I was quickest of those who'd never driven an IndyCar," Harvey added. "And it suited my style – I could manipulate it the way I want to. I came away from that test thinking I had ticked a few boxes.
Success on oval circuits, such as the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway proved Jack Harvey was ready to make the step up to IndyCar
"That's why it has been so frustrating for me and my family, because I know that if I was given the opportunities that some heavily sponsored drivers have I know I would do a good job.
"I think the way to look at 2016 is that we are evaluating every option there is. Unfortunately, one of those options is that it's possible I won't secure a drive at all, and that would be a massive blow in terms of my career and my future in motorsport.
"That would be incredibly frustrating because of the years of hard work I have put in and also the fact that there are teams out there that want me to drive their cars, but it's all down to money.
"I don't know what tomorrow might bring, it could be good news or it could be bad. But I am trying to stay positive. I am not losing sight of the fact that I could still earn a living by driving racing cars and that really would be quite something."
JACK HARVEY'S CAREER IN SINGLE-SEAT RACING
2015 IndyLights, vice-champion
2014 IndyLights, vice-champion
2013 GP3, finished 5th Top Rookie
2012 British Formula Three, champion
2011 British Formula Three, finished 9th
2010 Formula BMW, runner-up
2009 Formula BMW, Rookie championship runner-up