Rising star Harry King produced a battling performance on track to maintain his championship challenge as the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup headed for the Red Bull Ring for the fourth round of the season.
The BWT Lechner Racing driver made the journey to Austria on the back of a home podium at Silverstone a week earlier, which had allowed the BRDC Superstar racer to move up to fourth in the championship standings.
At a circuit where he had shown his pace previously in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, Harry enjoyed a solid start to the weekend in free practice as he posted the fourth best time before a fine showing in qualifying saw him improve his time by more than half a second.
That was good enough to earn Harry his first front row start in the series, with his fastest lap being just 0.071s behind team-mate Dylan Pereira as BWT Lechner locked out the front row for its home race.
A tough start to the race saw Harry lose ground on the run to turn one as he slipped behind defending champion Larry Ten Voorde and Laurin Heinrich, before a wild moment exiting the final corner at the end of the opening lap saw him sustain damage to the front splitter on his car.
The resultant loss of downforce would make the #6 Porsche a handful from that moment on, and played a part in Harry running wide on the fast run through turn seven and eight on the following lap, which allowed Marvin Klein to nip ahead.
Despite the ill-handling car, Harry was able to settle into a rhythm after an early safety car period before a clash ahead between Klein and Ten Voorde provided the Briton with the chance to make up places.
Forced to take a wide line through turn three to avoid the pair, Harry slipped behind team-mate Bastian Buus but still made up a spot to sit in fourth place, which is where he would remain through to the finish.
Impressively, despite the damage to his car, Harry would set the fourth fastest lap of the race, with the points scored allowing him to maintain his fourth place in the standings ahead of the next event at Paul Ricard later this month.
“The weekend started well in practice and I was pleased to follow it up with a strong run in qualifying,” he said. “To give the team a 1-2 on the grid for its home race was fantastic, but unfortunately I didn’t quite maximise my starting position when the lights went out, which left me vulnerable in the run to turn one.
“Losing the front splitter at the end of lap one meant I had to change my approach as it is such an important part of the aerodynamics on these cars, and it was really damage limitation from that point on.
“To still come fourth in those circumstances is incredible and whilst it’s not a result I’m happy with, I’m pleased with the pace we showed this weekend – and it isn’t often that you’ll finish fourth on a bad day in a series as difficult as the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup.
“Half way through the season, we’re in a solid place in the standings and I feel I’m in a good environment with a team that is giving me fantastic support. I’m looking forward to going to Paul Ricard in a few weeks and fighting at the front.”
Source. Harry King/Photo. Porsche