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Opinion

The Monaco and Bathurst wins that capped a young Porsche ace's 2023

OPINION: The BRDC SuperStar and Porsche Supercup race winner has had a busy year, racing in 10 countries. With the season finally over he has time to reflect

Harry King

Porsche

It’s been a very active season for me in 2023. I started off doing some endurance racing and the Asian Le Mans Series, all while carrying out preparations for my Porsche campaign in the Carrera Cup Middle East, which went really well. We claimed a win in every race we entered, so the programme was looking very strong. The expectations for the European season were very high and I had everything I needed in terms of testing mileage, physical preparation, and all the ingredients to attack the Porsche Supercup season with the best approach possible.

We started off at Spa with the Carrera Cup Deutschland, which was my first race in the series. Going to Allied Racing – a brand-new team for me, with new mechanics and engineers – was a big undertaking, but we secured pole position in the wet conditions and followed it up with a race win, which was the best way we could have got that season under way. That proved all the preparations in the winter were paying off.

We had a strong season in Germany, scoring podiums in the majority of the races. And if we weren’t on the podium, we were either fourth or fifth. A couple of races where we had contact from a car behind ended up putting us out of contention. Such strong performances throughout the year and storming into it with a pole position and the race win definitely got everybody’s attention.

What would have been the Imola weekend to start the Porsche Supercup, where I was back with Lechner Racing, was quite bizarre, because those are the ones where you really want to perform and do a good job. You do everything to prepare in the week leading up, so to get a call from your team manager saying, ‘Don’t go to the airport just yet,’ was a bit odd.

But despite the floods meaning the Imola event was called off, it wasn’t long until we got going in the Supercup in Monaco. That was one of the highlights of the season, and of what hopefully will be a successful career. Nothing quite tops winning in Monaco, especially in such a competitive one-make series. I’m very proud of the achievement and to bring that home for the team.

I had to cancel my flight home on the Sunday from Monaco, but for a very good reason. The hardest thing was trying to get a suit organised in time for the dinner. It was already 1pm, and you only have a few hours to find a suit before you go to dinner with Prince Albert! Thankfully I managed to look the part and enjoyed a nice evening to celebrate the achievement.

Supercup victory at Monaco was a seasonal highlight for King, and required the hasty organisation of a suit

Photo by: Porsche

Supercup victory at Monaco was a seasonal highlight for King, and required the hasty organisation of a suit

The Porsche Supercup title was always the aim. But to claim the most wins [three, at Monaco, the Hungaroring and Monza] and to do so on some of the most prestigious tracks in the world, as well as fighting hard in some of the other races, definitely caught the attention of important people in motorsport and that’s as valuable as claiming a championship. We proved that we were consistently one of the quickest cars, but two mishaps and two DNFs, which were unavoidable from my side, ultimately meant we were not in the championship battle by the time we got to the finale.

It’s such a specific one-make series, and getting the most out of the car is almost a black art in comparison to other formulas. Getting extra mileage is a big benefit, so it’s a huge boost if you can get the right support with the right team. You will find the top 15 drivers in the Supercup will all be doing the same thing, so if you were the one not doing that, you’d be at a disadvantage before you even get to the startline.

It was a last-minute invitation from EMA Motorsport to go and provide them with support in the Carrera Cup Australia. I was delighted to get the call because racing at Bathurst was a bit of a dream of mine. To not only go and drive the circuit, but to claim three wins in three races, with the lap record, was incredible. Winning at Monaco and Bathurst means it has been a positive year, but the motivation is as high as ever to keep going.

The season got the attention of the right people, so I’m excited to explore what comes next. The dream is to race a Porsche and keep having success with the brand I started my GT journey with

Nothing is signed and secured yet for 2024. There are lots of options and the season got the attention of the right people, so I’m excited to explore what comes next. The dream is to race a Porsche and keep having success with the brand I started my GT journey with. I enjoy driving the cars and being a Porsche factory driver is something I’m working very hard towards.

I’ve been on the BRDC SuperStars programme for three years and each season my performances have been better and better. It’s useful to have the advice and support of people who have been successful in the past with factory teams and get their insight on how to approach certain situations from a driving perspective or on off-track matters. Those are the things I find are the most valuable part of the programme, getting that kind of access and that support in areas where you wouldn’t really expect it.

King is optimistic for 2024 as he bids to build his career in professional racing

Photo by: Porsche

King is optimistic for 2024 as he bids to build his career in professional racing

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