Harper Seizes The Moment With Memorable First Carrera Cup GB Victory
Daniel Harper secured a fantastic first win in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park this past weekend (09/10 June) after converting pole position into victory with a faultless display in front of the live ITV4 television cameras.
After taking a well-earned fourth place finish in the opening race of the weekend, the reverse grid draw placed Harper on pole for the second encounter and he seized the opportunity with a supreme drive to victory in front of a massive crowd in Cheshire.
Following a rollercoaster first three meetings of the season, the 2018/19 Porsche GB Junior had headed into the weekend playing catch-up, so his focus was set firmly on treating the meeting as another learning experience behind the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
With his last two race outings at the Cheshire circuit in the Ginetta Junior Championship proving to be difficult affairs, Harper was pleased to kick off the meeting with some competitive pace during testing on Friday as he posted the fifth fastest time in both of the sessions.
The Northern Irishman started qualifying well the next day as he sat third on the timesheets following the first run, however he was unable to replicate that pace on his second set of Michelin tyres and would have to end up settling for sixth place overall.
Starting on row three for the opening race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, the IFS Global Logistics-backed racer maintained that position over the course of the first few laps before a slick move heading up Clay Hill into Druids corner secured him fifth place on lap four.
As the race developed, Harper would find himself in the middle of a six car train battling fiercely for the final podium position. Moving up to fourth when another driver hit trouble, he would then pile the pressure on the driver ahead in the closing laps.
With a clear opportunity to pass not presenting itself, the seventeen year old produced a mature drive to take fourth position at the chequered flag. That result would prove to be a blessing in disguise, as the reverse grid draw placed him on pole position for race two on Sunday.
In front of a huge trackside crowd in the sweltering Cheshire sunshine, Harper produced a brilliant launch off the line to storm into the first corner in the lead and he would go on to maintain that advantage for the remainder of the eighteen lap race.
It was far from plain-sailing for the fonaCAB, Daily Bake and McGaughey Refrigerated Distribution supported racer though as his JTR team-mate Lewis Plato loomed large in his mirrors, but a composed drive saw Harper maintain a comfortable gap between them at all points.
There was one moment of worry on lap fourteen as a spinning back-marker ahead forced Harper to take to the grass in avoidance, but he immediately regained his rhythm and brought the car home to the chequered flag for a stunning first Porsche victory.
Daniel Harper: “What an amazing weekend. I can’t believe it. It feels like this win has been a long time coming with the speed we have shown so far this season, so it’s an incredible feeling to get the first one. It’s my Mum’s birthday today and that win is for her.
“We came into the meeting downplaying our hopes and focusing on keeping it clean, getting some mileage under our belt and getting two solid results on the board, so to get a win was completely unexpected. Maybe it’s a good tactic for each weekend!
“It’s the perfect way to end the first half of the season and I head into the summer break with the confidence that I know how to win in this series and that I can do it again! A massive thank you to the JTR team, Porsche and my sponsors for all their support.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB now embarks on a seven week summer break before returning to action at Snetterton in Norfolk on July 28/29.