It’s a sad day for those of us who’ve followed Tim’s career, initially in British Touring Cars and then for the past 7 years in the UK’s Porsche Carrera Cup, to hear that he’s chosen to step down from racing in the UK’s fastest single-make championship. Tim is one of those unique drivers – a Bear of a man but with the deft touch of watch maker – he could muscle a 911 GT3 Cup around a track extracting every ounce of its potential, whilst keeping something in reserve for the latter stages of a race when worn tyres were hampering his competitors. He will be sorely missed.
Tim was the 2008 and 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup champion and the most successful driver in Carrera Cup GB history with 35 wins and 106 podiums – so why is he stepping down?
“Having seen the data from the first six races, I know that I am simply not able to compete at the same level I have over the past seven years in the Porsche Carrera Cup. I think it better to pass the opportunity to someone who richly deserves to be on the grid this year and will be able to gain invaluable experience competing in the championship,” said Harvey.
Following disappointing results in the first three race meetings due, Harvey believes, to the revised regulations introduced this season, Harvey has decided to create an opportunity for a young driver to share the driving seat in the Nationwide sponsored car.
The new driver for the Nationwide/Motorbase car is 21 year old Kieran Vernon who will replace Harvey from the next race at Oulton Park and for the remaining races in the series. Harvey will however compete in the Carrera World Cup at the Nurburgring in June in what may be his last Porsche Carrera Cup race. “I hope to compete competitively once again in the Carrera Cup in future but, if not, I cannot imagine a better race to end my eight year Carrera Cup association,” said Harvey.
Vernon who, along with Benji Hetherington, won a Porsche Scholarship for this year but was unable to take up his opportunity due to lack of funding said “I can’t thank Tim, Nationwide and Motorbase enough for giving me this opportunity. Winning the Porsche Scholarship was the proudest moment of my career and being unable to take it up, my worst moment! I aim to do Tim and all his sponsors proud in the Number One car and can’t wait for Oulton Park. With Tim’s guidance and help I couldn’t be learning from a better man, and I hope to be up-to-speed very quickly.”
Michael Wilmshurst, Chief Executive of Nationwide, commented, “After Tim’s success last year, it was disappointing when we realised that the new regulations would make him less competitive in 2011. Having worked together for a number of years, Tim is part of the team here at Nationwide, and we are sad that he will not be behind the wheel of the Nationwide car for the remainder of the season.”
Harvey will continue to represent Nationwide and all his sponsors at the race meetings as well as driver coaching Kieran who will test prior to the Oulton meeting.