11:05AM, Monday 25 April 2022
Rising star Harry King enjoyed a fine start to his first full season in the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup with a podium finish on the opening weekend of the new campaign at the famous Imola circuit.
The race weekend marked Harry’s first outing in the series with Porsche powerhouse BWT Lechner Racing, and was also the first time that he had competed at the Italian venue, with the race running alongside the fourth round of the new F1 season.
Despite his lack of prior experience of the circuit, Harry showed strong pace from the outset in free practice to set the third fastest time, although he was one of a number of drivers who would be affected by a red flag in qualifying.
Struggling for clear track in the limited laps that were available after a mid-session stoppage, Harry had to settle for seventh on the grid which - although lower than he was hoping for give his practice pace - marked his best qualifying result to date.
The arrival of rain shortly before the race led to a delayed start to the action, which then got underway behind the safety car due to the conditions.
When the cars were released to get the racing underway, Harry quickly moved ahead of the squabbling pair of Marvin Klein and Dorian Borccolacci and then closed onto the rear of Laurin Heinrich before sliding down the inside going into the first Rivazza to grab fourth.
Within a lap, Harry had closed on defending champion Larry ten Voorde and BWT team-mate Bastian Buus in the fight for second, and when Buus ran wide, Harry took his chance to move up into the top three.
A safety car period would then back up the field before a blast to the flag, with Harry successfully securing his maiden Supercup podium in third place.
As well as leaving Harry well placed in the Drivers’ championship, victory for Dylan Pereira means the BWT Lechner Racing team head the Teams’ standings ahead of the next round in Monaco in late May.
"My expectations were quite high after free practice when we ended up in P3, but qualifying was a real challenge because the red flag hampered my first run and then I didn’t get a clear lap afterwards," he said.
"When the rain came down before the start, the team did a great job to get the car turned around for the conditions and it gave me a fantastic platform to move forwards. I had so much confidence in it and could really push to make up places, and that was what got us onto the podium.
"To take first, third and fifth is fantastic for the team and on a personal level, I’m delighted to have picked up my first silverware in the Porsche Supercup. It gives me a fantastic platform to now build on in the rounds to come."
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