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Team Parker Racing claimed three victories and two further podium appearances on a successful start to its Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, held at Donington Park at the weekend (April 22/23).

This season the team lined up a six-car effort, with Porsche GB Junior Driver Adam Smalley and Porsche Sprint Challenge GB champion Harry Foster teaming up as Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker. Competing under the Team Parker Racing banner were Pro-Am rivals Ryan Ratcliffe – the 2021 champion – and teenager Will Aspin, while Jake Giddings and Justin Sherwood linked up as Parker Classic Works.
Margins were fine for qualifying on Saturday, with Adam going quickest in the early running and then setting an even faster time in the closing stages to claim pole position, with Harry ninth in Pro. In Pro-Am, Will finished third fastest, with Jake fourth, and Ryan fifth, while in Am Justin took pole on his series return.
Adam started the opening contest well, in damp and difficult conditions on track after rain that morning. He fought off the attentions of Robert De Haan to hold the lead, though slipped behind after mid-race as his rival found pace in the mixed conditions. Harry fell back in the early laps, but then put in a strong recovery drive to make his way back up the order overall.
After a brief late Safety Car, Adam renewed the pressure on De Haan for the race lead, sadly unable to get past, while Jake did similarly for top spot in Pro-Am, briefly taking the lead but then sliding wide to finish fifth, just behind Ryan. Will stopped early in the race to try slick tyres which took plenty of time to come up to temperature, though once they did, he was the fastest car on track by more than a second. In Am, meanwhile, Justin had a comfortable lead, clinching the win on his series return.
Conditions were even tougher for race two that afternoon, as heavy rain made it difficult for all but the first few cars to have a clear view in the opening laps. Adam started superbly, passing all three cars ahead of him to take the lead, one which he would not relinquish to the flag. Harry did similarly, moving up two overall positions to claim a solid fifth, while Ryan battled well in Pro-Am, keeping pace with the class leader, but unable to get within striking distance for the win, collecting a good podium in the process.
It was a tougher contest for Will and Jake in Pro-Am, with the former being given a five-second time penalty and the latter suffering trips through the gravel. However, in Am, Justin Sherwood assumed the lead for most wins in the category with his second victory of the weekend in dominant style, crossing the line a full lap ahead of the next car in class.
The team will return to Porsche Carrera Cup GB action in just two weeks’ time (May 6/7), with rounds three and four of the season on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.

Adam Smalley, #21, Pro

G1 – 1, R1 – 2
G2 – 4, R2 – 1

Pro Championship: 1 (23 points)

“It was a near perfect weekend with my maiden pole in qualifying and in the first race the issue was that the track was drying, and we were all on wets. I pushed too hard which hurt me in the second half the race, so I was frustrated to finish second.

“I started fourth for race two, overtook three cars on the first lap, and then pulled out a four second lead to win the race. I was just managing the gap, managing the pit board information, and constantly seeing where we were in comparison to everyone else. I’m delighted with how the weekend went and a huge thank you to Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker, so I’m looking forward to the rest of championship.”

Harry Foster, #16, Pro

G1 – 9, R1 – 6
G2 – 4, R2 – 5

Pro Championship: 7 (7 points)
Rookie Championship: 1 (25 points)

“Being my first race weekend in the Carrera Cup it’s good to have a great result. I didn’t start race one very well and dropped down to P17, it was a little bit tricky as it started to dry towards the end, so it was overheating the tyres and we were having to deal with that, but I managed to get from there all the way back up to P7 which put us in a good position for race two.

“Race two was really tricky, especially at the start. There was a lot of spray, but I managed to keep on track and have some good pace. The car has been hooked up all weekend, especially on race day in the wet, I really noticed it was planted on the corners and I’ve been able to really use it and show some good pace, so a big thank you to Team Parker Racing and to Duckhams Yuasa Racing for the opportunity this season.”

Ryan Ratcliffe, #33, Pro-Am

G1 – 5, R1 – 4
G2 – 4, R2 – 2

Pro-Am Championship: 3 (13 points)

“The week didn’t start well with an engine problem, and I was a little disappointed in qualifying, but it is what it is. Race one I just didn’t have the pace in the early stages, but then the second half of the race I found some time, whether the car got better, or I did I’m not sure, so I felt quite confident coming out of that one.

“Race two, I had a really good start. I couldn’t see anything on lap one because of the spray, but I made up quite a lot of places on the first lap and maintained that. I was slowly catching [Max] Bird in front and pulling away from the cars behind, so the pace was good. All-in-all it wasn’t a bad weekend and coming away with a trophy is always a positive.”

Jake Giddings, #41, Pro-Am

G1 – 4, R1 – 5
G2 – 5, R2 – 7

Pro-Am Championship: 5 (6 points)

“My qualifying was rubbish to be honest. The first race was going well – I got a good start and made up a couple of places, my restart was good, and it was just the last lap where it went wrong really. Me and Max Bird were battling hard, and I just locked a wheel and had a skip through the gravel, so lost a load of places and went back to where I started.

“The second race, I thought I got a good start, Theo Edgerton was quite close going into the first corner and then I just couldn’t see anything ahead. The front pack of eight pulled away and then we were just chipping away from there. I locked up at the chicane when I was catching up, so dropped back again, and then locked up on the last lap at the first corner, so it was a weekend of lock ups. I think we had good pace, just unfortunately I couldn’t keep it on the black stuff, but we’ll have another go at Brands Hatch.”

Will Aspin, #11, Pro-Am

G1 – 3, R1 – 12
G2 – 12, R2 – 6

Pro-Am Championship: 7 (4 points)

“Qualifying didn’t pan out the way we would have wanted, as we didn’t really hook up the lap and that was completely my fault. We moved on to race one, where everyone was kind of unsure if it was going to be a slick or wet race. I started on the wet and halfway through I saw the Safety Car boards come out, so I pitted. We made the tyre change, but the Safety Car didn’t come out in the end, which meant we ended up losing a lap. Our pace was really strong on slicks, and it was an enjoyable race, I drove well, but the position and the result didn’t show that.

“It was the same with race two. We were really quick, so to only be half a second off Adam’s best lap time in the wet was pretty good. I’m pretty disappointed with how it went, as it could have been a lot better, but it is what it is. We look forward to Brands Hatch now, where hopefully we can have two good races.”

Justin Sherwood, #7, Am

G1 – 1, R1 – 1
G2 – 1, R2 – 1

Am Championship: 1 (23 points)

The car was great throughout the weekend. It was a tricky race day to be fair, but the car was predictable. The first race we were just hanging on with the tyres going off and the track drying out, but it was great to get the win.

The visibility in the first few laps of race two was difficult, but I could see the two David’s quite a way back, so I was just a bit cautious on the first few laps and then realised I had a big gap. I could see David Fairbrother just in front of me as we lapped him, as I think he’d had a few problems up to then, so it was just a matter of bringing it home. I didn’t do anything silly and let the Pro guys go when they came up behind me.

“It’s a shame Peter Kyle-Henney isn’t here racing as we just broke the record for the Am wins, but maybe he will try to defend that later in the year. Overall, it was a great day for me and it’s great for Team Parker to see Adam win as well.”

Entrant Championship

Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker (Adam & Harry) – 1 (59 points)
Team Parker Racing (Ryan & Will) – 6 (15 points)
Parker Classic Works (Jake & Justin) – 8 (4 points)

Source. Torque


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