Team: Douglas Motorsport
Comment: Though the 2016 rookie champion took a handful of podiums and a victory in the opening half of the season, Harper couldn’t take consistent top results. He finished outside the top five as often as he did inside, putting him fourth in the championship order by the summer break.
Comment: Harper made up for all his inconsistencies after the summer. From 14 races, he managed 11 podiums including six wins. He headed to Brands Hatch with an outside chance at the championship and, though he did miss out on the title, he finished only two points behind Sebastian Priaulx in second.
Overall Grade: B+
Best moment of the season: A hat-trick of podiums including two race wins at Thruxton was Harper’s best round in the Ginetta Junior championship to date. He held of attacks from Gamble to take victory in race one, before dropping back to second in the following race. After a hard fought battle to the lead three, Harper again put up a strong defence against the championship leader after sneaking past Gamble late in the race.
Worst moment of the season: Though his results early in the season were inconsistent, he managed to finish and take point from every race of the year. That almost wasn’t the case at Oulton Park. Starting on the front row of the grid, Harper didn’t get as good a start as those behind him and was squeezed between Adam Smalley and Harry Dyson. He fell back, allowing the pair to take one another out, and continued running third. But he was forced into pits. He managed to get back out, but was the penultimate finisher, ahead of Dyson.
Feature credit: Caroline Rhea