Harper’s return to one of the most competitive GT3 championships in the world came alongside his familiar team-mates of Neil Verhagen and Max Hesse, with the trio continuing a partnership with ROWE Racing that produced a number of standout results last year in their BMW M4 GT3.
With its combination of long straights, high-speed bends and tight chicanes, the ‘Temple of Speed’ would provide a stern challenge for Harper and his team-mates.
It was Harper who started the race and found himself frustrated in the early stages, slipping to fifth as the field squeezed their way through the first chicane, before seeing any chance of an immediate fightback halted by back-to-back safety car periods.
Once action finally resumed fully, the 22-year-old talent was able to move up a place to fourth before handing the car over to Verhagen at the end of the first hour.
His American team-mate emerged from the pitstop cycle in third position and put together a brilliant stint to hold the spot throughout.
Hesse took control for the final portion of the race before benefitting from a late issue for the car ahead to grab second place.
Daniel said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get our first GT World Challenge Europe podium finish, and it’s made even sweeter that it was a one-two finish for ROWE Racing and BMW M Motorsport. It was an absolutely perfect day, and not something we expected at all.”