Team Parker Racing enjoyed a successful visit to Silverstone in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at the weekend (June 26/27), as Ethan Hawkey celebrated his sixth podium finish in six races this season, while the team tops the Entrant Championship standings.
The 19-year-old has had several mature and consistent performances this year, his first with the team, and while disappointed with his car’s overall pace, was content to keep his run of silverware going and remain well in the championship hunt at the mid-point of the campaign.
Making good starts to both races, Ethan challenged for the front of the field on the opening laps, but with the team and driver unable to unlock the final bit of performance from his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, he would have to settle for third place on both occasions.
It was a tougher weekend for Matt Armstrong and Charlie March as both drivers would fail to finish a race but showed good skill and ability on track as well. Matt had a memorable battle with Ambrogio Perfetti in race one, fighting back after losing a place with a well-worked move, though his race two lasted just a few corners as he tangled with Charles Clark, retiring in the pits at the end of the lap.
Charlie was unlucky earlier in the day as he was forced to take avoiding action when Alex Malykhin braked early into Vale. Faced with either crashing into his rival or going off track, he opted for the latter, spinning across the grass before becoming embedded in the gravel.
However, he bounced back brilliantly later in the afternoon, taking three places on the opening laps to run fourth in the Am class. Closing in on the experienced Nigel Rice for the final podium position, he was unable to get past, but was happy with his performance.
The team hopes to be re-joined by Kurt Leimer, who had to withdraw from the event, next weekend, as there will be two races on a packed day of action in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at Oulton Park this coming Saturday, July 3.
Ethan Hawkey, #40, Pro
G1 – 3, R1 – 3,
G2 – 3, R2 – 3
Championship: 3 (41 points)
“It’s been good but we’re just struggling with the car a little bit, so we’ll do some comparison tests ahead of Oulton Park to see if there’s anything we can learn. I am sure we’ll sort it out.
“Six podiums out of six is good and we’ll keep remaining positive as we’re still close to the championship leaders. I like Oulton Park, it’s a challenge and I haven’t raced there since I was in Ginetta Juniors, but I am sure it’ll come back to me.”
Matt Armstrong, #9, Pro
G1 – 5, R1 – 5,
G2 – 5, R2 – DNF
Championship: 4 (23 points)
“This season was always going to be a big learning curve. I was confident going into Silverstone, but it turned out to be a difficult weekend and I didn’t get the result I should have. With an engine issue on Friday, we lost time in testing and went into Saturday not as prepared as we could have been and that affects your confidence as well.
“During race one there was a gap that I only went for half-heartedly, so in race two I told myself if there was a chance, I would commit to it. The move would have worked but I had a slide which then took me into him, which I didn’t want to happen, but I will learn from the experience.”
Charlie March, #7, Am
G1 – 6, R1 – DNF,
G2 – 7, R2 – 4
Championship: 8 (14 points)
“Race two was great and it was nice to be fully involved in the pack for the first time. I feel like my pace has really come along since my first race here last year and now I am up with the main group hopefully I can start to pick them off and keep the momentum going while finding more time.
“It’s a process of building things up and learning. I haven’t had much track time, partly due to simply not having raced for long, so it is good to have a proper race and prove to myself that I can do this.”
Team Parker Racing
Championship: 1 (159 points)