INTERNATIONAL import Harry King has delivered EMA Motorsport exactly what they wanted when they drafted him into their second seat for this weekend’s Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia round at Mount Panorama.
The 22-year-old English ace, a three-time winner in Porsche Supercup this year, got the jump from second on the grid and led all the way under pressure from reigning Aussie champion Harri Jones to claim a Bathurst win on debut in a 15-lap affair today at Mount Panorama.
It was the first win for EMA Motorsport in Carrera Cup and makes King the seventh different winner in the Equity-One Professional class from 15 races this season.
Meanwhile, another driver racing without the pressure of title expectations succeeded in the SP Tools Pro-Am class, Liam Talbot leading home Adrian Flack and Sam Shahin in Carrera Cup’s race within a race.
The race had action from start to finish, with King getting the jump from second on the grid and Harri Jones slow away from pole.
There was drama behind as a slow-starting David Wall was clipped by Bayley Hall on the start line, both cars immediately out of the race.
A frenetic start saw King disappear out in front but furious racing behind as Jones battled to stay in touch with the leaders as he was attacked from all sides.
Jackson Walls made up four spots on the opening lap while Max Vidau found himself dropping down the order.
Jones’ quickly got back to second position and set out in pursuit of King, who built a two second margin on the opening lap.
He set a new lap record (2m05.8363s) on the sixth lap of the race and closed to within half a second of the leader, though was unable to work his way past.
The pair pulled a large margin over the field as they battled for the lead with King ultimately sneaking home to win by half a second, with Jones’ second.
Chris van der Drift finished third on his first Aussie Carrera Cup start having spent the entire race battling for the final spot in the top three with Dylan O’Keeffe.
O’Keeffe had led the battle – that included Fabian Coulthard and Jackson Walls – for most of the race, with the pair swapping spots briefly at the Chase prior to van der Drift finally asserting himself two laps from home.
Coulthard finished fifth and Jackson Walls sixth in an important drive for his championship hopes with leader Callum Hedge away.
David Russell was next, with Dale Wood, Garnet Patterson and an ailing Max Vidau finishing 10th.
The TekworkX driver had dropped back through the field from third on the grid and salvaged a top-10 finish at the end with apparent damage on his car.
Liam Talbot claimed a lights-to-flag victory in the SP Tools Pro-Am class as he continues to deputise for Luke King in the Moutai Racing car from Wall Racing.
Talbot led home a large battle pack that included several Pro-Am contenders mixing it with Equity-One Pro class runners throughout the race.
Adrian Flack ultimately finished second with class leader Sam Shahin third on the road.
Matt Belford was next and Danny Stuttered fifth despite a five second penalty for a start line infringement – the Victorian having earlier run towards the front of the Pro-Am pack in the early laps.
Dramas for Sandown winner Dean Cook saw him off at The Chase, damaging his front splitter and dropping him to seventh at the finish.
The field returns tomorrow afternoon for race two, a 9-lap sprint set for 3:15pm local time and broadcast live on Fox Sports 506, Kayo Sport and Channel 7 around Australia.
“It feels pretty good. A win anywhere is special but to win on the Mountain of Bathurst is an incredible feeling. It’s definitely up there with one of my proudest wins. I got a great start off the line and controlled the pace from then on in. Harry was catching but I was managing the gap because there’s a high risk of a Safety Car.
“I’m certainly proud of what I achieved and for EMA Motorsport, I’m so grateful to come out here.
“The shorter races are a bit less physical on the drivers, but I think the drivers will be pushing to try and make up those positions.”
“I wasn’t sure what happened, but it was full chaos! I chose this lane, that lane and it all sort of worked out.
“Got a good start, but the start was chaos. I had no real strategy, I looked behind and it was Danny Stutterd behind me, I knew I could trust him and I just managed my race from there. I didn’t push too hard and had a little bit in reserve which is always good.
“When it comes to tomorrow’s shorter races.. I’m a safe person, I’m not going to go maximum attack and not lock up all four wheels in the first corner. I’m not fighting for a championship but the other guys are so they’re going to need to remember that.”