Rising star Harry King enjoyed a fine end to his first full campaign in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with a starring role in the season finale at Monza, which resulted in a fourth podium finish of the year.
The BWT Lechner Racing driver headed to the famous Italian circuit – scene of the best result of his part campaign in 2021 – seeking to bounce back from a challenging outing at Zandvoort a week earlier, where an early incident had resulted in him being forced to retire for the first and only time this season.
Unfortunately for Harry, the incident resulted in him carrying a grid penalty into the season finale, but that only served to give the BRDC Superstar driver even more motivation to impress.
Third quickest behind team-mates Bastian Buus and Dylan Pereira in Friday practice, Harry then produced a storming run in qualifying to top the standings for the first time – setting the third fastest qualifying lap in Supercup history.
That performance allowed Harry to minimise the impact of the Zandvoort penalty as he lined up in fourth place for the start, although he would slip back to sixth going into turn one behind Larry ten Voorde and a fast-starting Laurin Heinrich.
Getting a better exit out of the opening chicane, Harry would repass the pair going through the Curva Grande to move back into fourth spot before the race went under the safety car following a clash towards the rear of the field.
The action resumed on lap five with Harry seeing off the challenge of Loek Harthog on the run to the Variante della Roggia before he set about trying to fight his way forwards into the podium places.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, Harry closed onto the rear of Pereira before moving ahead at the start of the eighth lap when his team-mate ran wide exiting turn two and he then swept immediately ahead of Marvin Klein to take second.
With a gap of 1.5s to Buus out front, Harry produced a number of searing laps – including a new lap record – to close in on the leader before electing to settle for second place to ensure the best result possible for the team.
A controversial post-race time penalty dropped Harry to third in the end results, but that still provided him with a fourth podium finish in eight starts as he wrapped up fifth in the championship standings.
“We started the weekend well in free practice and I was delighted to follow it up with my first pole position in the Supercup – although it was somewhat bittersweet because of the penalty from Zandvoort,” he said. “In the race, I had to fight hard to get up to second place and some quick, consistent laps allowed me to close in on Bastian and I was ready to attack, but then took the decision not to risk the result for the team.
“To cross the line in second spot was great and a nice way to end my first full season in the series. I feel proud of how I have performed this year and although I really wanted to get a win, I’ve scored some really strong results and came close to getting onto the top step more than once.
“As a team, it’s been a great season as we have won every title that is available and I’m proud to have played a role in that. My pace has been strong throughout the year, and the performance this weekend in particular gives me a lot of motivation to take into the winter with the goal of coming back strong next year.”
Harry now turns his focus to the final round of the Carrera Cup Benelux at Hockenheim next month where he will seek to wrap up the championship title.
Source. Harry King/Photo. Porsche