Belfast Telegraph

Eastwood dons Porsche winner's hat at the double

 

By Sammy Hamill

Back-to-back wins for Charlie Eastwood and a first victory of the season for Daniel Harper highlighted a strong Easter weekend for Ulster's rising young racing stars.

Eastwood dominated the two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup at Donington, winning both races to take the lead in the GB series.

And 16-year-old Harper moved to contention for the UK Ginetta Junior championship with a win and two third places at the Leicestershire circuit.

And at Silverstone there was a podium place, too, for Wayne Boyd in the opening round of the European Le Mans series.

But on a day when Colin Turkington had to fight hard to stay in the chase for a third British Touring Car Championship, it was his aspiring young countrymen who stole the limelight at Donington.

Eastwood, the rookie Porsche champion in 2016, had been second in the opening two races at Brands Hatch, but this weekend he qualified his Redline Racing Carrera on pole for both races and led each of them from start to finish.

He was helped with reigning champion Dan Cammish being involved in an incident during qualifying which left him having to battle his way through the field in both races.

He took third and fourth places but still slipped four points behind Eastwood in the standings after four rounds.

Harper was also in dominant form in qualifying, taking pole for the first two Ginetta races.

He led the first of them before getting shuffled down to third on the re-start after a safety car period but made no mistake in race two, taking his first win of the season.

He again led for much of race three but in a hectic finish had to settle for third again behind the championship leader Tom Gamble.

Meanwhile, it was uphill all the way for Turkington after his BMW suffered a water leak during qualifying, leaving him in the midfield for race one. He fought his way up to fourth behind Aiden Moffett and then was nudged onto the grass by team-mate Rob Collard in race two, eventually finishing fifth.

Race three was red flagged because of torrential rain but on the re-start, Turkington slithered his way to second behind the Honda of Gordon Sheddon - only to he handed the victory when the Scot's Honda failed a post race ride height test. He is up to second behind race two winner Tom Ingram in the championship.

Wayne Boyd put in a sterling drive in the closing stages of the European prototype round at Silverstone to net third LMP3 place behind his winning United Autosports team-mates Sean Rayhall and John Falb.

Boyd also drove the opening stint of the four-hour race, handing over to Christian England in second place.

The 2016 champion maintained the positon but Mark Patterson lost ground and their Ligier was down in seventh when Boyd stepped in for the final 50 minutes.

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