04:30PM, Monday 13 September 2021
Photo: Porsche Motorsport
Harry King admitted his maiden season in Porsche’s Mobil 1 Supercup had been a ‘steep learning curve’, but the Holyport driver saved his best result for last, finishing sixth after an exciting weekend of racing at Monza.
King drew level with fifth-placed Leon Koehler coming into the closing stages of the second race but although the cars drew level coming out of the final corner, he was edged out by just 0.023seconds.
By his own admission the current Porsche GB Junior driver – and reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion - hasn’t had the easiest of seasons, but he headed to the famous Italian circuit hopeful of a strong finish on one of the few circuits he’d been able to test drive his 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup car ahead of the season.
After a challenging meeting at Zandvoort a week earlier King came into qualifying with his sights firmly set on a top 10 finish. His best time was little more than six-tenths of a second away from pole position, but such was the competition, it saw him line up for the race 13th on the grid. Chasing a train of cars competing for fourth place, King came under pressure from Simone Ianquinta in the closing stages and the Italian managed to nip ahead on the exit of Parabolica to leave the Holyport driver in ninth position. In the second race King moved up into the top 10 at the start of the second lap. He then took advantage of a clash between Tio Ellinas and Dylan Pereira to move up to seventh before grabbing sixth from Dorian Borcolacci. He closed to the rear of a three-way battle for third and made his move on Koehler going into the final corner, but the German driver edged him out by just 0.023s as they crossed the line together.
"Monza is the one circuit on the calendar where I had tested the 992 Porsche before the season, so I think my expectations going into the weekend were higher; certainly, when you compare it to Spa or Zandvoort over the previous two meetings," he said.
"I was keen to try and push for the top ten in qualifying so to end up in P13 was a little bit disappointing, but I knew we had the speed to fight for some strong results in the races. I managed to make up places at the start of race one and the pace was strong, so I was happy to secure ninth place and equal my best result at that point.
"In race two however, I felt we made a real step in the right direction and that was reflected in the result. I felt a lot more comfortable in the car and after a good start, I think I drove a smart race, with some good decision making and placing my car in the right position allowing me to pick up my best finish of the year. I thought I was going to grab P5 on the run to the line, but sixth is still a good way to end the campaign.
"The move into the Porsche Supercup this season certainly hasn’t been easy, as this championship is the pinnacle of Porsche racing, and the level of competition is unbelievably high. With limited track time each weekend to learn the circuits - as well as a new car - it’s been a massive learning curve, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
"The strong results this weekend have given me a lot of motivation and confidence for the future, and something to build on going forwards."