King by name, king by nature
Porsche Great Britain – Motorsport: Porsche Junior Harry King has set a scintillating pace in the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB, winning an incredible six out of the first eight races in what is the UK’s fastest and most exhilarating one-make racing series
A future star has been born in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Porsche Junior Harry King has exceeded all expectations and left his rivals utterly shell-shocked. This in a championship where all the cars are identical, and known to require a deft touch in order to extract optimum performance.
Making up for the necessary five-month delay due to COVID-19, the August 2020 schedule was a rapid-fire affair, with eight races taking place across four separate weekends. Amazingly, King took the first pole position of 2020 and finished second in his inaugural race. He then went on to secure the next three pole positions from three opportunities, as well as a string of thrilling victories.
King’s experienced team-mate – former Junior, 2014 Champion and Supercup driver Josh Webster – won the season’s opening race. King, however, claimed the next five; one at Donington Park, two at Brands Hatch, and a pair of further victories at Oulton Park. During the second race at Oulton Park, the Junior started from sixth in the reverse-grid race, and ignored the historical form guide that says no driver ever wins from lower than a fourth-place starting spot. But if that was impressive, what he did next was simply unbelievable…
At the end of August the championship arrived in Scotland at the short and challenging Knockhill circuit; with steep elevation changes, high kerbs and shallow run-off areas, the track requires maximum commitment. King put his car on pole again, and victory in the weekend’s first race seemed a mere formality, but a rare mechanical issue forced his retirement. Rookie Matthew Graham took the win.
For the weekend’s second race, King started from tenth, so a podium finish seemed highly unlikely – although his performance at Oulton Park was still fresh in the minds of many. What followed was quite simply a demonstration of Porsche 911 racing the likes of which the championship has rarely seen before.
By the end of the first lap, King had passed two cars, his GT3 Cup literally dancing to a different beat as he travelled over Knockhill’s vicious kerbs on three, two and, at times, no wheels. The attitude of his car signalled his determined intent – controlled aggression was the order of the day, and inside 10 laps he had sight of the battle for second place involving Argentinian Dorian Mansilla, Webster and Graham. As these three drivers fought for position, Mansilla was spun off the track, leaving Webster to grab second from Graham. King soon dispatched Graham and set after his own team-mate, Webster.
The championship rivals ran ever closer over the next four laps. Then, on lap 15, King began mounting a challenge at McIntyre – the sweeping second corner – and completed it through Butcher’s – a tight right-hander – to lead an incredulous Webster before the chicane on the brow of the hill. His next target was leader Scott McKenna, a huge 5.5 seconds in front. There were just over 10 laps remaining.
With a clear track ahead of him, King’s raw pace was unleashed for the first time, catapulting him onto the rump of McKenna’s car as the duo entered their nail-biting final lap. Forced to defend his position, McKenna was on the back foot at the chicane. Cracking under the pressure of King’s relentless attack, he took a short trip through the gravel trap. King didn’t need a second invitation – snatching the lead to conclude his storming drive through the field and claim a sixth win from eight races.
Entering the second half of the season, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB promises a continuation of the exciting championship battle between Porsche GB Junior King and Webster. There is also the developing battle between Pro-Am category driver Esmee Hawkey and her team-mate, newcomer Ryan Ratcliffe, to look forward to.
Reigning Am champion Justin Sherwood will be defending his early points lead from an increasingly competitive line-up of category rivals. However, all eyes will be on Harry King, the Porsche GB 2020/2021 Junior. As his experience and confidence grows, who knows what he’ll be capable of? One thing’s for sure: in the 2020 season to date, the hard-charging, high-flying King has been in a class of his own…