Team Parker Racing had a superb winning start to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, claiming four victories across all three classes at a hot and sunny Snetterton at the weekend (June 11/12).
Headlining the results was a superb maiden victory for Kiern Jewiss during race two but it was also a brilliant start to the season for Justin Sherwood in Am, as he claimed two wins to kick off his attempts to take a third-straight title, and they were joined on the top step of the podium by Ryan Ratcliffe who fought his way to Pro-Am success after disappointment with his qualifying on Saturday.
The opening race of the weekend, held on Sunday morning, was a quiet one for most competitors, but Harry King, coming in as reigning champion, performed well after a technical problem in qualifying left him sixth on the grid. He made up two places on the opening lap before getting past Kiern for third, where he would cross the line. However, a post-race penalty for Lorcan Hanafin for moving on the grid before the lights went out meant he would gain one further place, being classified second.
In Pro-Am Ryan fought back after a tough opening lap to close in on Nathan Harrison for a class podium, which then became a fight for second, but was just unable to find a way past. There was also a one-two in the Am class as Justin Sherwood took the win ahead of Justin Armstrong, who performed well to take a podium finish.
Coming into race two, Harry looked to be in good shape having saved a new set of Michelin tyres and was quickly on the charge, taking fourth off the line, third from Kiern, and second from Will Martin, before driving around Lewis Plato for the lead. Unfortunately, however, he would fall foul of track limits, being handed a five-second time penalty which dropped him down to third. That would benefit Kiern who had performed brilliantly to not only stay with his team-mate but also fended off a two-time champion in Dan Cammish for the final few laps, earning his victory.
Ryan also dug deep, fighting his way past a resilient Micah Stanley for the Pro-Am victory with a good move into Williams, while in Am it was another one-two with Justin Sherwood leading Justin Armstrong across the line.
The team will be back in Porsche Carrera Cup GB action in two weeks’ time as the series travels to Brands Hatch in Kent, for two races on the short and action-packed Indy circuit.
Kiern Jewiss, #26, Pro
G1 – 3, R1 – 4
G2 – 3, R2 – 1
Championship: 2 (16 points)
Rookie championship: 1 (34 points)
“It was my first qualifying session in the Porsche and yellow flags hindered me a bit. It is our first weekend and we’re very inexperienced, but we’ll get more practice and miles in and I’m sure we’ll be fine.
“Race one was a big learning curve, but it set us up well for the big win later in the day. I’d like to say we learned from what we lacked earlier on because we got such a good result! It was hard and very hot, and I struggled towards the end, but I kept it on the black stuff and brought it back in one piece. I need to keep learning and move forward.
“Harry won the championship last year, he is going to be fast this year, and he’s going to be hard to beat, but he’s the best person to be up against. I know I’m being compared to one of the fastest people out there and it will be tough but let’s just keep pushing on.”
Harry King, #19, Pro
G1 – 6, R1 – 3
G2 – 4, R2 – 3
Championship: 2 (16 points)
“It was a strong weekend with third and a win on the road. The disappointment with the gearbox in qualifying was hard to take but we took it on the chin and had a great race to third place. We ran with used tyres in race one as we knew there was the reverse grid in race two and didn’t know where we’d end up, so we wanted to have the support of new tyres in race two, which was totally the correct call from Team Parker Racing.
“It was a bit of a rash call on track limits which demoted us from first to third, so I am disappointed in it as I think it was our race, but perhaps there was some confusion with the pit boards and radio, so we’ll have to look into it and see what the situation is.
“The pace was great, the opening laps were really strong and that’s what bridged the gap and all I had to do was manage it from there. I am mightily disappointed with the penalty as every point will be vital this year. The car has been really nice to drive all weekend and the balance has been great, so it makes me excited for the rest of the year when we get to circuits with some undulation which is more of a thrill in these cars.”
Ryan Ratcliffe, #33, Pro-Am
G1 – 4, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – 1
Pro-Am Championship: 2 (17 points)
“Qualifying was a bit disappointing. We were quickest on the first tyre run but on the second set I couldn’t turn the tyres on and didn’t extract much out of it, and when I did it was under yellow, so I lost that lap anyway! Coming from fighting for the championship to qualifying fourth I was disappointed with, so I had an early night and didn’t ponder on it.
“I came in on Sunday ready to make up places but had a difficult first race as I was stuck behind Harrison, and he made it virtually impossible to overtake, so I finished third. In race two I started well and took second out of the first corner and was behind Stanley. He tried to push me off the road when I got a better exit out of Agostini, but I think that rattled him as two corners later I got past. I then got my head down, chased the Pro drivers and got the win, so it was a nice way to end the weekend and head into Brands Hatch.”
Justin Sherwood, #7, Am
G1 – 1, R1 – 1
G2 – 1, R2 – 1
Am Championship: 1 (24 points)
“I am pleased to start racing again. Qualifying was super close with Justin just half a tenth behind, but I managed to sneak pole position. Both races had frantic opening laps where I lost the lead, gained the lead, lost the lead again!
“Justin pushed me in both races, especially in the first half, but from mid-distance I could eke a gap out little by little. It was hard work to stay in front of him, but it was enjoyable as well. There were three victories for the team in race two in Pro, Pro-Am, and Am, so it’s been a great start to the championship.
Justin Armstrong, #6, Am
G1 – 2, R1 – 2
G2 – 2, R2 – 2
Am Championship: 2 (16 points)
“The weekend was very good. We found some more pace in the car and had an aim this year to keep close to Justin [Sherwood]. There’s a bit more time to find, I don’t want to keep seeing the back of his car as it’s giving me nightmares! I’m pleased with my one lap pace but need to find a bit more in the races.
“Race one was good, and I got Justin at the start, but another car slid wide at turn three which compromised me and left a Justin Sherwood-sized gap into turn four which he put his car into. I followed him and was compromised by some Pro-Ams making mistakes and getting between us. We should have been closer to him, though probably wouldn’t have beaten him, but might have given him a run for his money.
“It was a similar story in race two; I got past him coming out of turn four on the opening lap and ran out of road and talent at turn five and I was looking at the back of his car again! The first part of the race we kept pace with him but in the second part he had the legs on us.”