Harvey hopes Meyer Shank Racing continues with Andretti partnership

Meyer Shank Racing driver Jack Harvey says he’s keen for the squad to continue its data sharing with the Andretti Autosport squad “for a few more years to come”.

Some of the drivers involved were sceptical of the size of the Andretti/Meyer Shank team force at the Indianapolis 500, comprising five full-timers – Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, James Hinchcliffe and Harvey – along with part-timer Helio Castroneves and Indy 500 one-offs Marco Andretti and Stefan Wilson.

Harvey admits that was a cumbersome situation when it came to debriefing, but halfway through Michael Shank’s and Jim Meyer’s second year in partnership with Michael Andretti’s squad, Harvey said that he and race engineer Andy Listes (one of MSR's personnel assigned by Andretti) can see the benefits of the ‘regular’ line-up for the other rounds in the championship.

He says that when they all divide duties for, say, trying different set-ups in practice sessions, he can glean from others’ feedback what will and won’t work for him on the #60 car.

“At this point you kind of know who in the room you're likely to gravitate towards,” Harvey explained to Autosport about the debriefs. “Because of that I think it's easier to split some of the testing or set-up plans and changes with certain people in the room.

“We've been there a year and a half now and know what most people's driving styles are but also what the engineers' styles are from car to car. I think my engineer Andy has been doing a really fantastic job in being adaptable to what I need but also seeing if another car is doing something well – not necessarily just plucking it off the fastest car but plucking the part that's going to make our programme be the best.

“The 500 was difficult having eight cars in one engineering room I can tell you! Suddenly when we went back to the regular five for the full season, it seems to flow so much quicker.

“It's great to have that level of data. Obviously it takes a lot of effort for everybody to go through it properly, so being able to gravitate to the people who drive the car similarly or set-up changes we get a similar read on in a short weekend certainly helps.

“I think that's a really great relationship and one that I know that everyone at Meyer Shank Racing hopes will continue for a few more years to come.”

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

In the last round at Road America, Harvey scored his third top-three grid position of the season although his best race result so far has been fourth in St. Petersburg. 

His hopes are high for this weekend's round, since Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is Meyer Shank Racing’s “home” track, being situated just 50 miles north of its base. But it is renowned for presenting a particular challenge to IndyCar teams because from when it is still green – relatively unused at the start of Friday practice – compared to the grip it offers once it is rubbered in by the time qualifying ends, teams can see their lap times cut by up to four seconds.

Harvey said that the experienced teams and drivers will know not to be misled into making drastic changes in response to how their cars behave at the start of a race weekend.

“I think that's very much a characteristic of Mid-Ohio,” he agreed. “The morning of test day even versus the end of the day, just the improvement is probably the most I've been to on a road course without any weather changing or anything like that. At this point I feel like a lot of people have experience with letting the track kind of come to us.

“I think my experience at Mid-Ohio so far is, if you're not sure what the track is going to do, just leave it, wait and see what it does. I hate to say it but the prepping in that moment, for me, comes to having a good plan if it goes one way or the other, if you end up being super free, or end up being super understeery. We've been there before and tried to predict what the track will do and got it completely wrong!

“It's definitely a challenge at Mid-Ohio but it's a challenge for everybody, so as long as we try to be smart but not too smart, hopefully we'll end up in a good spot.”

Read Also:

Harvey was two-time Indy Lights championship runner-up – in 2014 with the antiquated Dallara-IPS car and the following year with the all-new Dallara IL-15. He said that dealing with that transition was far bigger than contending with the current IndyCar shifting its weight distribution following the adoption of the aeroscreen last year.

“The thing about the screen, it's heavy. But because you know it's heavy in a particular place, it kind of makes it a little easier just to try and shift a few things around, go and test it," he said. "That transition between '14 and '15 in the Lights car – that was just like throwing your engineering rule book out the window and starting again!”

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Harvey went on to praise IndyCar for pushing forward with the screen.

“I'll be the first to admit, I was somewhat sceptical about all that when IndyCar first launched it, but I love it. It is absolutely saving drivers left and right, and I hate how many times we've had to see it already work so well.

"But I'm really super-proud of everybody at IndyCar, everybody at Dallara for making safety such a priority.

“I think that's why you're seeing so many drivers look at [IndyCar] again with stars in their eyes and going, ‘Wow, IndyCar is so cool and it's safe.’ Safer, I should say.

“I was never against it at any moment because at the end of the day I'd always want my friends here with us now. But that's such a hit. I think they've done such an incredible job with that, I'm really, really grateful that everybody involved in that process stuck to their guns and pushed on with it because they're saving people's lives.”

shares
comments

Related video

IndyCar boss Penske doesn’t expect racing to be all-electric by 2030

Previous article

IndyCar boss Penske doesn’t expect racing to be all-electric by 2030

Next article

Rosenqvist cleared for Mid-Ohio IndyCar, VeeKay expected to return

Rosenqvist cleared for Mid-Ohio IndyCar, VeeKay expected to return
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard? Plus

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 27, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Plus

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there?

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021