Belfast Telegraph

Dromore schoolboy Daniel Harper is geared up for his £100,000 drive

By Sammy Hamill

While most 15-year-olds will be preparing to return to school after the Easter break, on Sunday Daniel Harper will be steering a racing car out onto the grid at Brands Hatch in front of ITV4's live television cameras.

The Dromore High School student makes his debut in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship on the same track where Colin Turkington will begin his challenge for the British Touring Car Championship.

Harper earned his place in the Under-17 sportscar series by beating more than 70 other drivers to a £100,000 scholarship which will see him drive a Ginetta G40 in the 10-meeting championship series.

The scholarship package includes car, which is supplied and run by the top team of fellow Ulsterman Wayne Douglas, tyres, fuel and expert coaching.

A multi-champion in karts and quad bikes, Harper is also a talented rally driver who came top of the UK scholarship competition despite never having driven a racing car on a race track previously.

He has used holidays and school breaks to acclimatise himself to the Ginetta both here at Kirkistown and at Donington in England as well as learning the UK circuits on his PS3 console.

But he is very much a rookie in a championship which will see several drivers, including team-mate Stuart Middleton, taking part for a second season.

There will also be a number of famous names on the grid like Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of F1 World champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson, Seb Priaulx, son of World touring car champion Andy, and Jordan Collard whose dad Rob will be racing against Turkington in the BTCC on Sunday.

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