18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) clinched his fourth pole position of the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season at Thruxton. The current championship leader mounted a late challenge for pole fending off rivals Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) and George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) who will start round nine in P2 and P3 respectively. Porsche GB Junior Harper’s closest championship rival, Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance), will start tomorrow’s race from the second row of the grid in P4.
A session of two distinct halves was conducted under clear and sunny skies, Gamble initially held the advantage at the top of the timesheet but soon came under attack from Plato and Harper – yet neither could beat his early pacesetting lap time. With most drivers opting to remain in pit lane until the final five minutes of the session, the closing minutes of qualifying saw Webster leap Gamble for P1 before Porsche GB Junior Harper set the fastest time of the day – securing the seventh pole position of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career. At the flag just 0.372 seconds covered pole sitter Harper from Webster and Gamble.
A closely contested battle for top Pro-Am honours saw championship leader Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) take an early category lead. Leonard’s performance was made all the more impressive given that he was driving a new car, set up for him overnight after an off in Friday’s practice session caused damage to his regular car. However, Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) ultimately triumphed in a tight Pro-Am category battle that also involved returnee Sam Brabham (Team Connect It) and Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing). Of the Am category drivers John Ferguson (Redline Racing) qualified ahead of Peter Kyle-Henney (In2 Racing), Am category championship leader Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) will start round nine from row eight.
Following the 2019 Carrera Cup GB race format, Junior Harper has already earned two championship points with his pole position, and the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Hawkey and Ferguson – also receive two points each. The grid for tomorrow’s second race will be decided immediately following race one. The overall winner will draw a number between four and six at random, deciding whether the first four, five or six competitors will have their grid positions reversed. The remaining drivers will form the grid for race two according to their finishing positions in race one, any driver who records a DNF in race one will start race two behind the last finisher in their category.
Round nine will take place at 10:40 tomorrow, Sunday 18 August, while round ten will take place at 15:50. Both races feature a standing start and are scheduled to last for a duration of 20 laps. Thruxton is the fastest circuit on the TOCA calendar, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – spectators can expect plenty of fast-paced action.