Belfast Telegraph

With exams behind him, Harper's out to pass a whole new series of tests


Cup leader: Daniel Harper tops Porsche Carrera chase
Cup leader: Daniel Harper tops Porsche Carrera chase
Charlie Eastwood

By Sammy Hamill

With a trio of A-Level results successfully tucked away, Daniel Harper can now concentrate fully on his racing career, starting with rounds 11 and 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone this weekend.

The 18-year-old former Dromore High School student has been combining his studies with a rapid rise through the racing ranks thanks to junior driver scholarships with Ginetta and latterly Porsche.

With his A-Levels behind him, Harper plans to take a year out to fully concentrate on building a career on the race track.

He is already doing a superb job of it.

A five race winner in the Carrera Cup series this season, he is on course to become the youngest champion in Britain's fastest one-make championship.

The aim is to follow in the footsteps of fellow Ulster drivers Charlie Eastwood, himself a former Carrera Cup champion, and Andrew Watson who will feature for their respective Aston Martin and Porsche teams in the World Endurance Championship which headlines the Silverstone programme.

With the Carrera Cup in a supporting role this weekend, Harper will get a close up view of sports car racing at the highest level - where he aspires to be in the not too distant future.

The immediate task is to follow up on a perfect weekend at Thruxton earlier in the month, when he took pole position, back to back wins and fastest laps in both races for his JTR team.

"Thruxton was a great start to the second half of the season and I'm focused on continuing this run of strong results into Silverstone," he said.

"The aim is to get another good points haul."

The first of the two Porsche races is tomorrow and the second on Sunday ahead of the four-hour WEC round.

Meanwhile, close to a dozen former winners of the Donegal International, including Cahal Curley and Andrew Nesbitt, will take part in the another of the popular Déjà Vu retro rallies this weekend.

Based at Jackson's Hotel, Ballybofey, it will see upwards of 150 historic cars traverse many of the classic stages of the international rally including Atlantic Drive and Knockalla tomorrow.

Others taking part include Jimmy McRae, Eugene Donnelly, James Cullen and Brian Nelson as well as Antony Warmbold, son of the 1975 winner Achim, and five-times European champion Patrick Snijers.

The Déjà Vu events have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity and this year the Donegal Hospice is the recipient.

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