Racing driver Jack Harvey spoke of his delight as he secured a place to compete at the Indianapolis 500 next month.

The 23-year-old has signed with the Andretti Autosport Indy Car team and will drive the number 50 Honda at the 101st running of the iconic race.

Harvey, of Bassingham, has spent the last year on the sidelines in search of a team after struggling to secure sponsorship, which would have made him a more attractive prospect to teams.

Previously, he had shown his worth on the track with two years racing in the Indy Lights, a feeder series for the Indy Car races.

Harvey finished his rookie year in Indy Lights in second place. He secured the same number of points as the winner but lost out on the championship because the eventual winner had secured more second place finishes than Harvey.

He had another exceptional year in Indy Lights in 2015, again finishing runner-up and narrowly missing out on the top spot. 

Harvey will join the reigning Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport for the big race on May 28.

Having claimed race wins at both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Freedom 100 in 2015, Harvey is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

"Biggest race I have ever entered."

However, the 2017 500-mile event will be his first Verizon IndyCar Series race as he works to gain Rookie of the Year honours.

“The Indy500 is easily the biggest race I have entered in my career so far,” said Harvey. 

“It is one of the most iconic races in the world and I feel extremely privileged to be taking part in it.

“To have the opportunity to do this with one of the best teams on the grid — a team that has won two of the last three races there — is more than I could have dreamed of.

“We have been working incredibly hard over the last 18 months to make this happen and it’s hard to put into words what this means to me.” 

Harvey said he was grateful to Andretti Autosport for the chance and all those who had supported him in his career to date.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me; especially my family, friends, my manager, the Racing Steps Foundation, and everyone back home,” he said.

“Despite living in the States for the past two years, it is still an incredible feeling to have so much support from back in the UK. Finally, this wouldn’t be possible without the support of AutoNation, so I am very grateful for them helping me put this together.”

Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti said: “Jack is a rising talent in open-wheel racing. He has had an impressive career in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and the British F3 series and we are pleased to be able to give him a shot in an Indy car at this year’s Indy 500.”

Harvey will dedicate the race to his uncle, one of his biggest supporters, who died in February.