Tim Harvey Q&A

Tim Harvey won the 1992 British Touring Car Championship and was a regular in the series from the late '80s to 1998. After dabbling in 2001, this season he's returned full-time to the series to drive one of the Independents' Cup Team Halfords Peugeot 406 Coupes for the same man who ran his title-winning BMW, Vic Lee. Relatively young for a veteran at 40, Harvey explained to Nick Phillips why he's enjoyed this year and why he wants another crack in 2003

Tim Harvey Q&A



"I have, particularly earlier in the year. We had some really good races with different types of cars and drivers, battling with MGs, Hondas, Protons and sometimes, though not very often, Vauxhalls. There has been some good racing and I've actually enjoyed it. I think generally my driving has been really good this year. I've concentrated on this and haven't taken anything else on. We haven't always got the best out of the car, but we've learned a fair bit and we're doing a lot better job than they managed to do with it last year."



"Not really. I've had too many non-finishes. I had a run of four on the trot, mixed in with a few others early through A, being knocked off, B, being thrown out over technicalities and C, a bit of unreliability, so unfortunately I can't win it, though I think of the races that I've finished I've won it six out of eight times or five out of seven or something."



"I think we're moving in the right direction, but in all honesty you've got to say that from the word go this year's championship was only ever a three-horse race. There was never going to be anybody else in it from a championship point of view. So how you judge the quality of those three guys is really quite difficult. They've only had each other to beat and even among them it's come down to unreliability and non-finishes rather than anything spectacular, because all three of them have arguably been the fastest or the best on different occasions. That's a bit of a shame, but as we've got towards the end of the year, we've seen genuine competitors to their dominance in terms of drivers and cars. Clearly Honda and MG are very, very close to being able to run with them on a regular basis and I hope that situation improves and that for next year it's the same, because then it won't be a three-horse race, but a six or a nine-horse race, which is what we want it to be and what it was 10 years ago."



"I certainly hope so. This year has been very good and I hope we'll have a front-running, well-financed, competitive car next year. This year has been the first with Halfords and that relationship has gone extremely well. We're talking now about next year and I hope they continue. There are lots of options on machinery for next year. The only thing that's certain is that we won't run 406 Coupe again. I'm not saying that anything will be more competitive than that, because that would be doing down this year's car, but clearly it is showing its age now and we need something newer, probably something that's smaller and certainly something that's more competitive and I hope that between us we can put that package together. I'm working with Vic - it's not a case of each of us blackmailing each other. We want to work together. We've enjoyed this year and I think the working relationship has been excellent. As long as Vic accepts that I'm always right it goes very well..."



"Well obviously the ideal scenario would be to be a factory team, but I don't actually think there are any new manufacturers that are necessarily going to commit to next year. So you're looking at either taking on an existing car, whether that's an MG, a Vauxhall or a Honda, and running that as an Independent car or possibly building a new car like the 307. So at the moment the options are up in the air and at the moment there is a feasibility study in progress on the different options. At the end of the day it's what makes sense from a logistical, financial and competitive point of view. I'm sure Vic'll decide and he wants to get the programme underway fairly soon to give us enough time over the winter to be in a good position."



"Very much so. I really have enjoyed it. I definitely want to stay on. Vic runs a very open and fair operation here and I think overall I've had the upper-hand among the drivers, though the luck hasn't been with me this year."



"Definitely. The moment I don't think I'm driving well enough I just won't do it - or if someone came in and just blitzed me and it's clear on the data that they are definitely quicker then fair enough that's the time when you have to step down, but that hasn't happened, so I want to carry on."

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