Reid Harker says finishing the Spa 24 Hour race fifth in class after starting nearly dead last was a massive achievement for the team and himself
Gearbox issues in qualifying meant the Kiwi and the Team Porsche New Zealand entry started 56th.
But a great race amid tricky conditions had the team finish 20th overall and fifth in the Pro-Am class.
“It was a great result,” Harker told Velocity News.
“We stayed out of trouble and minimised mistakes.
“We had two drive-through penalties for off-tracks which cost us valuable time but the same could be said for many other teams up and down pitlane.”
Harker was in the Team Porsche New Zealand car for the final stint home.
A sudden downpour in the final hour threatened to turn the race on the head.
A safety car with 30 minutes remaining then gave Harker, who was in fifth at the time, a chance to battle for a top-three spot in class.
“Conditions were challenging,” he said.
“Before the full course yellow period there were huge amounts of standing water which caught out a few cars.
“It was difficult to close in on the cars ahead with the amount of spray.
“We would have liked to be on the podium, but the pace of the Ferrari in those conditions was very strong and the Lambo was a little too far up the road.
Harker praised the team for their solid strategy in a race that went from wet to dry and back to wet again.
“Finishing is a huge achievement in itself, and the team did a mega job.
“The pitstops were great and the boys did super well with strategy.
“We finished, and a lot of cars didn’t.
“I think we have got to be a happy with the result.”
Harker has now returned to Germany, where he will be for two weeks before flying back to New Zealand.
Harker has plans to race in Asia in 2022 and is keen to return to Spa next year as well.
“There are lots of lessons to take away from my international GT3 debut which I am excited to build on for the future,” he said.
“But knowing what I know now, I’d love to go back and do it again—whether that is this race again or another one around the world like it.
Images: Earl Bamber Motorsport