Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Ulster hotshot Harper (16) thrilled to be shortlisted for a £170k scholarship


By Sammy Hamill

Rising young Ulster racing star Daniel Harper has been shortlisted for a Porsche scholarship prize worth £170,000 over two years.

The 16-year-old Dromore High School student is one of five finalists from a record number of applicants for the lucrative award, which will see the winner succeed another Ulster driver, Charlie Eastwood, in a two-year deal to race in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series.

Eastwood was chosen at the end of 2015 and went on to win the rookie award in his first season and this year took the overall Porsche GB title.

Now Harper has a chance to follow in Eastwood's footsteps.

He has been racing for the past two years in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship, winning the rookie award in 2016 and finishing second in the overall series this year with seven victories.

But the Porsche Cup would be a huge step up for the talented Hillsborough youngster who had a record-breaking career in karts and quad bikes before switching to cars.

Harper, one of the youngest finalists, is ecstatic to have been selected. He said: "It's a privilege to be in the final. I never thought I would have the chance to show Porsche what I can do. It's a massive opportunity and I need to make the most if it."

The five finalists face further assessments at Silverstone next month before the winner is announced at the Carrera Cup awards dinner on November 11.

The other finalists are Formula 4 champion Jamie Caroline (18), GT4 Supercar winner George Gamble (21), Dean Macdonald (18) and Esmee Hawkey (19).

Meanwhile, Wayne Boyd is hoping to end his second European Le Mans prototype series with a long overdue win at Portimao in Portugal this weekend.

Despite qualifying on the front row and leading races in the United Autosports LMP3 Ligier Nissan, a victory continues to elude Boyd and his team-mates.

Belfast Telegraph

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