Belfast Telegraph

Harper is a six-hit with Thruxton Carrera double

 

Daniel Harper
Daniel Harper

By Sammy Hamill

Two more immaculate performances by Daniel Harper saw the Ulster teenager increase his lead in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series.

He scored back to back wins at Thruxton, Britain's fastest circuit, on a day when fellow Ulster youngster Jack Young was again involved in a UK Renault Clio Cup 'war' with his bitter rival Max Coates and Colin Turkington had to fight hard to stay ahead in the battle for the British Touring Car Championship.

Harper dominated both Carrera races, the 18-year-old Hillsborough driver winning the first from pole position and then coming from sixth on the reverse grid to take the second with the added bonus of points for fastest laps in both.

With six wins this season Harper has now opened up a 35-point lead over Lewis Plato with Josh Webster in third. It was Webster, a former champion, who provided the most stern opposition at Thruxton, finishing second in the first race and then leading for almost half of race two as Harper fought his way from sixth place.

But he had no answer as Harper closed him down and then swept into the lead with a clever pass into the chicane before pulling clear at the front.

Young, who has had three Clio wins taken away from in recent weeks for alleged on-track transgressions, was the subject of more controversy yesterday.

The 17-year-old Methodist College student was awarded victory in the first of the two races after Brett Lidsey, first over the line, was penalised for jumping the start and Coates was relegated to second for cutting the chicane.

Race two proved even more contentious with Young and Coates fighting a fierce duel at the front which resulted in the two of them clashing at the chicane on the final lap. Coates spun out and Young kept going, crossing the line with a huge advertising banner stuck across the bonnet of his Stobart Racing Clio.

Once more it went to the stewards and the verdict is still awaited. For Turkington, meanwhile, it was day of damage limitation as he defended his lead at the top of the BTCC table.

His BMW weighed down by maximum success ballast as championship leader, he could only qualify 11th and struggled to make progress with a heavy car in the first of the three races as the ultra-fast Thruxton circuit lived up to his reputation as a Honda track.

Turkington could only manage 13th as the Honda Civics of Sam Tordoff and Dan Cammish finished first and second.

It was Honda again in race two, Josh Cook winning on his home track for Chris Smiley's BTC Racing team ahead of Adam Morgan's Mercedes as Turkington progressed to ninth. Cammish made it a Honda hat-trick in race three in front of Rob Collard's Vauxhall but Turkington, intent on staying out of trouble, fell back to 13th as the rain arrived.

But with BMW team-mate Andrew Jordan also struggling, the gap at the top of the standings only fell from 36 to 30 points although Cammish and Cook are now in the picture too.

Smiley was again embroiled in incidents and after taking 10th in race one he tumbled down to 21st in the second and 17th in race three.

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