Stunning pace unrewarded for Harry King at Thruxton
Porsche GB Junior Driver Harry King was left to wonder what might have been after a frustrating weekend on track at Thruxton during the fifth meeting of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
BRDC Rising Star Harry made the trip to the fastest circuit on the calendar seeking to strengthen his championship lead following a stunning sixth win of the campaign last time out at Knockhill.
Friday testing at his home venue saw Harry on fine form as he topped the times at the wheel of his Team Parker Racing-run car, setting a fastest lap a full second clear of his nearest rival.
Although not quite as quick during Saturday’s qualifying session, Harry was the only driver able to go under the 1:13s barrier, with a lap of 1:12.847 breaking the qualifying lap record by more than half a second.
In fact, Harry would set two lap times that were below Dan Harper’s previous record, leaving him in the best possible position for Sunday’s two races.
Although he bogged down slightly when the lights went out, Harry was able to maintain his lead as the field headed through Allard for the first time in race one and quickly set about building a lead as his rivals battled for position behind.
Nearly two seconds clear by the end of the opening lap, Harry would post a fastest lap that was half a second quicker than anyone else - smashing the lap record and posting the first sub 1:14s race lap in series history.
Twelve seconds clear of anyone else, Harry’s charge to victory was suddenly ended in heart-breaking fashion when a rear left puncture saw him forced into the pits with just two laps remaining.
The race one retirement left Harry down in seventh on the grid for race two but he wasted little time in making progress up the order when the lights went out, battling ahead of title rival - and team-mate - Josh Webster on the opening lap to move up into the top five.
Diving inside race one winner Will Martin at the complex on lap two allowed Harry to move up into fourth place, and the following lap he edged ahead of Lorcan Hanafin into third. Scott McKenna was the next target and having got himself into second by the end of lap four, Harry then chased down leader Ross Wylie before sliding through into the lead at the complex on lap ten.
However, in a repeat of the misfortune that he had suffered in race one, Harry then suffered a second puncture that once again forced him to retire, although his strong form this season means he retains a seven point lead in the standings heading to Silverstone next week.
"It’s been a disappointing weekend in terms of the end results, although our pace has been undeniable," he said. "In both qualifying and the races, we’ve really laid down a marker this weekend and the car has been absolutely fantastic. I have to give huge thanks to the team once again for doing a brilliant job, and I think we were nailed on for a double win had things not gone against us on race day.
"Days like today are just part of motorsport and things sometimes happen that are outside your control. We can’t dwell on it, and with Silverstone only a week away, we have the chance to rebound quickly from this weekend and look to strengthen our advantage."