Young Northern Irish motorsport talent Daniel Harper relished a “once in a lifetime” experience in Norway last week as he got the opportunity to enjoy a test outing in RX Lites Rallycross machinery with the world renowned Olsbergs MSE team.
Following positive discussions at the Autosport International Show back in January, Harper was invited by the Swedish outfit to travel to Scandinavia and try out one of their ‘Supercar Lites’, as used in the RX2 support category for the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
While the outing presented the reigning Ginetta Junior Championship ‘Rookie Cup’ champion with the chance to return to his off-road roots, having competed in Irish Junior rallying prior to his Ginetta bow, there was a twist as the test came on the most treacherous surface possible, ice. That would provide Harper with quite a challenge as he tried to tame one of the 310bhp spaceframe machines, but the sixteen year old would rise to the occasion as he quickly got to grips with the tricky circuit on the Dagali frozen lake.
With X Games Gold Medallist Mitchell DeJong and former Global Rallycross Lites champion Oliver Eriksson providing expert guidance, Harper would initially learn the circuit from the passenger’s seat, before taking to the wheel himself for a couple of high-octane runs. The Hillsborough-based racer would show constant improvement throughout his time on the ice, with his natural speed and car control producing some notable lap-times, which left the team suitably impressed and Harper elated with the whole experience.
Daniel Harper: “It’s been a truly incredible and unforgettable opportunity. I have to admit I was a bit stunned over the first few laps as it wasn’t easy to get to grips with the car, due to the sheer increase in power compared to the Ginetta I raced last season, but I was truly shocked by the amount of grip you could get with the studded tyres.
“I had such fun behind the wheel and learnt so much from the team and the other drivers. It was an amazing day and I would like to say a massive thanks to Olsbergs MSE and Ian Davies for the once in a lifetime opportunity. All the guys in the team made me very welcome, and it has to go down as one of the best experiences of my career so far.”
Harper’s focus is now on confirming his plans for the upcoming 2017 race season. If you can support this talented teenager as he looks to continue his burgeoning racing career, please contact Stan Harper on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07894 122428.
About Daniel Harper:
Daniel Harper is a 16 year old racing driver from Hillsborough, Northern Ireland. Starting his racing career aged 6, Harper was a multiple champion in both quad bike racing and karting in his early years, before entering Junior rallying in 2015.
After winning three events in the Ireland Junior 1000 Rally Challenge last year, Harper made the transition into circuit racing last season after beating over sixty other drivers to win the coveted Ginetta Junior Scholarship.
Harper competed in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship with front-running outfit Douglas Motorsport, racing across Britain as part of the hugely popular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package. Making an immediate impact with a hat-trick of outright podium finishes in only his second weekend in the series, Harper would win two races on his way to fifth overall in the standings, as well as being crowned the Rookie champion.