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Rising star Harper shines in Knockhill rain

 

By Sammy Hamill ·

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Daniel Harper: teenager star’s best ever race weekend

It was close to the perfect race weekend for Daniel Harper. Pole position, a one-two finish and two fastest laps in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

The 17-year-old Dromore High School student couldn't have asked for much more from the two rounds of the Porsche series at a saturated Knockhill circuit in Scotland.

Already officially recognised as one of Britain's Rising Stars, Harper showed his enormous potential with his impressive performances, describing it as his "best ever" race weekend.

In the first of a two-year scholarship with Porsche GB, he demonstrated how right they were to pick him in succession to fellow Ulsterman Charlie Eastwood, the 2017 champion.

Fastest in two test sessions, Harper qualified his JTR Carrera on pole position in dry, sunny conditions on Saturday but was faced with pouring rain and a streaming wet track yesterday. But he led for the first half of race one only to drop to second behind championship leader Dino Zamparelli when he was blocked lapping a backmarker.

Undeterred he fought back, passed Zamparelli and took his second win of his debut season.

Harper started from fourth on the 'top four' reverse grid for race two, again in teeming rain, and took his time to judge the conditions before reeling in Zamparelli and starting to chase down the leading pair, George Gamble and Tio Ellinas.

It is not easy to pass at Knokhill and although Harper closed quickly on Ellinas he couldn't find a way through until a daring move on the last lap saw him bounce his Carrera over the kerbs to snatch second place although Gamble to well out of reach.

Meanwhile, David McCullough made it back-to-back wins in the two rounds of the Dawson-WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford championship at Kirkistown.

The Ballymena driver in his Van Diemen led all the way from second place on the grid in race one, finishing ahead of Alan Davidson and Ivor McCullough. Championship leader Matt Round Garrido started from pole position in his Medina but retired on lap one.

McCullough led all the way again in race two but this time Garrido came out on top in the battle for second, finishing ahead the other McCullough and Will Herron.

In the BOSS Ireland races there were wins for Eamonn Matheson and Barry Rabbitt while Mike Johnston won the Roadsports event and there were victories in the Saloon races for Eoin Murray and Stephen Potter.

In the Eagle's Rock hillclimb, Gerard O'Connell was fastest in his Radical with a time of 67.21 seconds. Oliver Cormican was second in his Mitsubishi Evo with Andy Hawthorne third in his Reynard.

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Daniel Harper: teenager star’s best ever race weekend