Douglas Motorsport’s Dan Harper was left frustrated after track limit penalties ruined his weekend.
Harper was penalised during qualifying and the first race for exceeding the track limits. The penalty lost the teenager his second fastest qualifying time and a race win. He was eventually able to take a podium finish in the second race of the weekend, but he is now 20 points behind championship leader Tom Gamble.
“I’d say quite a lot of drivers were running the same amount of track as I was,” Harper told Overtake Motorsport after qualifying. “Just trying to get the most out of the time but that’s what the officials say, and I can’t really do much about that.”
Starting second on the grid for race one, Harper enjoyed a strong race, taking his second win of the season. But exceeding the track limits resulted in a five second penalty, and dropped Harper back to fourth.
After the race, he called the penalty “a bit unfair”.
“In my opinion I’m not [struggling with track limits],” he said. “I’m perfectly fine on the track limits. It’s just the officials are doing me because… I don’t know what it is.”
Race two was set to be a difficult time for Harper. Losing his second fastest time put the Hillsborough based driver 16th on the grid, and he was preparing for damage limitation.
Harper managed to make up six places in the opening lap, and slowly made his way up through the field, making sure to stay away from the track limits.
“I was able to get a few good cutbacks from people being under pressure and defending in the wrong side,” he said. “So I capitalised on that.
“I was keeping a close eye on [track limits], just trying to stay away from them. Finally got it.”
Harper will now head to Oulton Park later this month with the rest of the Ginetta Junior field, where he will try to close the 20 point gap to Gamble at the top of the standings.
Feature image credit Caroline Rhea