Belfast Telegraph

Teen star Harper on brink of making Carrera Cup history

 

Daniel Harper
Daniel Harper

By Sammy Hamill

Daniel Harper is one race and one top-six finish away from becoming the youngest winner of the GB Porsche Carrera Cup.

He is one of three Ulster drivers who will set up camp at Silverstone this weekend with UK championships on the line. Colin Turkington continues to lead the British Touring Car Championship and, despite his recent travails, Jack Young still sits second in the UK Renault Clio Cup as the season starts to wind down.

Harper, however, already has one hand on the Carrera Cup with four races remaining, two of them on the British Grand Prix circuit on Sunday.

The 18-year-old from Hillsborough has dominated Britain's fastest championship, clocking up six victories, and now needs just a sixth place or better finish to emulate fellow Ulsterman Charlie Eastwood as Porsche champion.

It was Eastwood, now moved on to Aston Martin and racing in the final round of the Blancpain European GT Endurance series in Barcelona this weekend, who insisted Porsche GB include Harper in their shortlist to succeed him.

Even though he was still at school and too young to hold a road licence, he won hands down and, two years later, he is on the point of justifying the faith placed in him by Eastwood and Porsche.

The Carrera Cup is part of this weekend's Silverstone package which will see Turkington resume the defence of his Touring Car title after his seemingly relentless pursuit of the championship took a knock in the previous three-race round at Knockhill.

His 30-point advantage was slashed to just 10 after his BMW was spun into a gravel trap by the Honda of Rory Butcher in race two, leaving him with a fight on his hands to fend off the challenge of West Surrey Racing team-mate Andrew Jordan and Honda's Dan Cammish.

Turkington says his approach on Sunday will be different.

"I'm not focussing on protecting my lead anymore - I'm going out there to properly attack and enjoy the weekend," he said.

It is certainly the way Jack Young races. The 17-year-old Belfast student has had three victories taken away from him for over-aggressive driving but is still just four points behind leader Max Coates thanks to a winning performance at Knockhill.

Coates and Young have just four races left to settle their differences.

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