06:00PM, Friday 24 September 2021
Photo: Porsche Motorsport UK
Having produced his best result of the season in the Mobil 1 Supercup in Monza last week, there was a rude awakening for Holyport's Harry King when he returned to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB circuit at Croft this weekend.
The defending champion breezed to the title in his rookie year last season, but he's struggled to replicate those race wins this season and a 12th place finished followed by a retirement made it a 'weekend to forget' for him in North Yorkshire.
Croft wasn't part of the Carrera Cup racing calendar last season, but King was in dominant form on his last appearance at the track in 2019, enroute to winning the Ginetta GT4 Supercup title.
Having gone second quickest in testing, Harry made an uncharacteristic error in qualifying which left him fourth on the grid for race one.
He initially challenged for a place on the podium, but a left rear puncture forced him to pit while the safety car was on, dropping him to the back of the field. He fought his way back up to eighth overall but a five second penalty for exceeding track limits left him down in 12th place.
Starting race two from the same position, Harry enjoyed a storming start to rocket up into the top six and then moved up to fifth when race leader Lorcan Hanafin was forced to retire, however, he was powerless to avoid a collision later in the race and the damage forced him back into the pits.
"This turned out to be a bit of a weekend to forget and is one that we just need to put behind us," he said. "I hold my hands up to an error in qualifying, but we knew the pace was there for the races and I was confident that we would be in the fight for victory.
"Sadly, luck wasn’t on my side and after contact from another driver forced me out of the lead battle in race one, there was nothing I could do when the same driver then clipped the tyre stack in race two and it rolled into my path. The fact we go straight to Silverstone next weekend is good as it means we can get right back on track, and as a young driver who is supported by the BRDC through the Superstars programme, it is always special to get the chance to race at the 'Home of British Motorsport'.
"The level of competition in the series is really high this season and we have ground to make up in the standings, but I’m going there feeling confident that we can fight back. We had a great weekend at Silverstone last season with a double win, and the reverse grid success is one that I think a lot of people still talk about. Hopefully we can enjoy similar results this time around."