01:00PM, Friday 31 July 2020
There is a new kid stalking the paddock of the Porsche Carrera Cup this season and he’s keen to rattle a few cages.
Holyport’s Harry King is gearing up for his rookie season with Team Parker Racing, and he's already laid down some lap times in testing that'll make his rivals sit up and take notice.
Eight weekends of racing action get underway at Donington Park on Saturday, with the season set to finish at Brands Hatch on November 15.
King believes he has one of the best, most experienced, teams behind him, and his lap times in testing last week turned heads in the pit lane.
The campaign had been due to roar into action back in March, but COVID-19 put everything on hold. King admits things are ‘slightly different’ in the paddock, but he’s pleased measures have been put in place to allow the competition to take place safely and is well aware that the decision to suspend the season was ‘the best course of action’.
Now he’s simply looking forward to getting back to doing what he does best.
“It’s great to be back in the paddock,” he said.
“It’s a bit different from normal with everyone wearing masks and there’s no shaking hands, but it’s very exciting to be back on the track again.
“The race organisers have done everything they can to minimise the chances of infection.”
King comes to the championship with quite a pedigree. He stormed to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup title last season and was also named Porsche’s GB Junior Driver of the year, earning him £85,000 in sponsorship as well as unrivalled advice and technical support from the best minds in the business. With Team Parker Racing he’ll be looking to put that support to good use.
He's confident he can compete at the top of the leaderboard and take a few chequered flags this season, but he’s not putting himself under any undue pressure, despite posting the quickest lap times last week.
“I’ve just come from the official test day at Brands Hatch,” he said. “Everyone in the championship was competing at the same time and your lap times go online so everyone can see how you’re doing.
“It’s like a qualifying session but it’s all day and you can see how you stack up against your competition.
“We ended up with the quickest time which I was pretty happy about. It’s easy to over think things when you’ve not been racing in six months, but to have a P1 at the end of the first day is a nice thing to take. There are no points for that but it’s reassuring to know we’re competitive enough to be challenging at the front.
“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. I expected to be in the top five but to top the leaderboard was a nice thing to take from it and I think we rattled a few cages up and down the paddock with pre-existing drivers. It’s always nice to lay down and show how competitive you are early in the season. They’ll have to take us more seriously now. It was awesome to win the GT4 cup last year and then straight away be competitive in another championship.”
King knows not to get too far ahead of himself before the season has even started.
He also knows that over 16 races plenty can go right or wrong, but he’s confident of his chances and hopes to put himself in a position to challenge for the title.
And with Team Parker Racing supporting him, he’s in the best possible hands to do just that.
“You have to make all of those races count,” he said. “If you have an issue in one of them or you make an error, that could have a big effect on the championship. My hopes for the season after the two days of testing is that we should be competing towards the front and for podiums.
“If we pick up the odd win here and there that would be nice, but you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself after two good days of testing.
“A lot can change in a week but I’m very happy with the pace we’re at and the team.
“Every time I get in the car I know it’s capable of being up at the front. Their pedigree in the sport is really impressive.
“They’ve been doing it since 2001 when the first Porsche Carrera Cup season began so have a huge wealth of experience and the most talented people working on the cars. I feel like I’m in the best place to do the best I can, there’s no second guessing the equipment. It’s down to me now.
“I’ve got two years as the Porsche Junior driver, so I don’t have to put all this pressure on myself to win it in my first year. But, having the pedigree of wanting to be a racing driver, that’s the ultimate goal.
“I know I need to take the right steps to win a championship. That’s the main target and we’ve shown with the test days that it’s not completely impossible. There are 16 races, a lot can happen, and, if we find ourselves fighting for the championship with two weekends to go that will be a nice position to be in.”
After Donington Park the championship heads to Brands Hatch (August 8-9), Oulton Park (August 22-23), Knockhill (August 29-30), Thruxton (September 19-20), Silverstone (September 26-27), Snetterton (October 24-25) and Brands Hatch on November 14-15.
Follow @PorscheRacesGB and Harry @HarryKingRacing on Twitter for more regular updates.
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