MRTI: Jack Harvey confirms second year with SPM in Indy Lights

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After losing the 2014 Indy Lights championship on a tie-breaker, Jack Harvey has confirmed that he’ll go after it again in 2015 as a member of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Harvey will continue to receive support from the Racing Steps Foundation, a group that helps finance the careers of British racers such as himself.

The 21-year-old from Lincolnshire, England made his American racing debut last season in Indy Lights after competing in GP3 and various other European ladder series.

Harvey mounted a serious charge for the 2014 Lights title in the second half of the season, winning four of the final five races – including the season finale at Sonoma.

Unfortunately for the Brit, Gabby Chaves’ second-place finish in the same race allowed him to take home the big trophy on the second tiebreaker – Chaves’ five runner-up finishes to Harvey’s one (the two had four wins apiece, which was the first tiebreaker).

Now, as the Lights series prepares to roll out a new car for 2015, Harvey will look to bring SPM its eighth series title and continue the team’s championship legacy in IndyCar’s top developmental league.

“I’m delighted to be heading back to Indy Lights for a second season with SPM, which wouldn’t be possible without the continued backing of the Racing Steps Foundation,” Harvey said in a release. “[Indy Lights promotions group] Andersen Promotions has done a fantastic job raising the profile of the series with the new car, new teams and a growing grid.

“So for me, it’s definitely the right place to be racing. It’ll be tougher this year but rest assured, I’m up for the challenge.”

His boss, team co-owner Sam Schmidt, believes that with one year of experience under his belt, Harvey will deliver even more in 2015.

“The 2014 championship was as close as it gets, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see a tie again like we did with Jack and Gabby,” Schmidt said in his own thoughts. “Jack did an excellent job from the time he arrived from the U.K. He was always very consistent in testing and had a great work ethic on and off the track.

“In 2015 he’ll be returning to circuits for the second time and can build upon the oval racing experience he gained in 2014.”

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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