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
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021