Harry King kicks off busy 2021 with double victory on Benelux outing
Porsche GB Junior Driver Harry King enjoyed a successful start to what promises to be a busy season on track with a double victory in the latest rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux at the Red Bull Ring.
Harry – the reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion – headed to Austria to compete in round two of the season as a guest entry, with the weekend providing the teenager with valuable track time ahead of the start of his Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup campaign.
The BRDC Superstar showed his pace in free practice as he topped the times for his first race weekend at the wheel of the all-new 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup, the same car he will use for his Supercup programme with the Parker Revs Motorsport team.
Qualifying would see Harry post the fifth quickest time, with a penalty for one of the series regulars meaning he would line up fourth on the grid for the first 30 minute long race of the weekend.
Forced to take avoiding action when Xavier Maassen stalled as the lights went green, Harry wasted little time in blasting to the front as he got ahead of polesitter Glenn Van Parijs into turn one and then went side-by-side with Thierry Vermeulen through the long left-hander leading into turn three, where the Brit slipped through into the lead.
Harry wasted little time in establishing a lead over the fight for second behind, setting what would prove to be the fastest lap of the race as he built an advantage of more than two seconds over Van Parijs.
As the race wore on, Harry was increasingly comfortable at the head of the field and led all the way to the finish to take victory ahead of Van Parijs by just over four seconds.
Fourth on the grid again for race two – determined by the second fastest times set in qualifying – Harry made another strong start to jump ahead of Huub Van Eijndhoven when the race kicked off before sliding up the inside of Maassen into turn one to take second.
Having shadowed Van Parijs through the opening lap, Harry saw the chance to get ahead at the start of lap two and – In a similar move to the one he had made to take the lead in race one – got a better run on the hill up to turn three before going up the inside to take the position.
Once again, Harry was able to control proceedings from the front as he pulled away from Van Parijs, setting the fastest lap as he made it two wins from two by a margin of more six seconds.
“I’m really pleased with such a strong weekend for my first races on European soil,” he said. “I didn’t expect to be on the pace so quickly as there were only the two free practice sessions to dial into the track and we lacked a little bit in qualifying which shows how strong the Benelux series is.
“However, when it came to the two races, our pace was really strong and when I got into the lead, I was able to stretch my legs and build a gap at the front.
“I’ve been able to learn a lot about the 992-spec car in race trim this weekend, which is what this outing was all about ahead of my first start in the Supercup, and now I feel ready to hit the streets of Monaco next weekend.”
Harry now heads to Monte Carlo for the opening round of the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup in support of the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend, with the defence of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB title with Team Parker Racing getting underway at Snetterton next month.