Long Beach, CA – April 18, 2015 – Jack Harvey earned the pole position for Sunday’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Harvey surprised his team with a last-lap qualifying push on Saturday afternoon that advanced him from P6 to the front of the starting grid.
“It was a great result and I’m really happy to be on pole,” said Harvey. “People are looking at it saying it was a last-lap, do-or-die situation but the truth is that I was fast at the start of qualifying as well. I was quickest on the first outing. The last five minutes was pretty intense because I was with a lot of cars that I was faster than, and I couldn’t really get past them, just because overtaking is so hard, especially on a street circuit. Luckily, I did and that gave me that last lap.
“To be on pole, I think it shows such an improvement from where we were at St. Petersburg. Honestly, even though we had good results there, we didn’t quite have the pace, so to come here and to have qualified in the part that is only about speed, to get pole in that moment shows what a great team I have here, how much hard work we’ve put into it and how much we trust each other. It’s a good platform to try and win tomorrow and then we go to Barber, hopefully with a bit more confidence than what we came here with, knowing that whatever happens, we’ve got good speed.”
Teammates RC Enerson, Scott Anderson and Ethan Ringel will start P6, P7 and P11, respectively.
A short, 15-minute window separated Indy Lights and Verizon IndyCar Series qualifications on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit.
James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car, had a fast lap of 1:07.3976, putting him P13 on the starting grid forSunday’s 80-lap competition.
“Obviously, qualifying wasn’t what the No. 5 Arrow Electronics team was hoping for,” said Hinchcliffe. “I made a mistake on what ended up being our fast lap, which I’m definitely kicking myself for. Then on the following lap, we were up and there was a yellow flag for [Scott] Dixon. I caught [Tony] Kanaan on the end of the lap there. He was just absolutely on cruise trying to make it back to the finish. He was P1 and didn’t need to push but we were still trying to get into the top six. I’m pretty disappointed that nothing came of it, not that it really would’ve changed our day.
“We just have to do a better job all around – me not making mistakes and trying to find a bit more speed in the car – but one of the specialties of this group is digging ourselves out of a hole so hopefully we can just be smart tomorrow and come away with some good points.”
Teammate Jakes will start on the inside of row ten. The British driver was P10 in his qualifying group with a fast lap of 1:07.7702, just over one second off the leader’s pace.
“Qualifying was disappointing,” said Jakes. “We’re just struggling a bit with the balance but everyone’s working very hard. It’s a long race tomorrow and hopefully we can just get some solid points here at Long Beach and move on. We have a bit of work to do for the No. 7 SPM Launch Consulting car but the guys are up to it and we’re ready for tomorrow.”
On Sunday, the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race will begin at 11:45 a.m. ET. The Verizon IndyCar Series pre-race activities are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET, with an estimated green flag at 4:37 p.m. Fans can get more info or buy tickets atwww.tgplb.com or catch all the action on NBC Sports Network.