Team Parker Racing enjoyed another podium in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB as Ethan Hawkey recorded his seventh top-three finish of the season with a sterling move at the start of race two at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
On a busy one-day meeting, Ethan, Matt Armstrong, and Charlie March were faced with a variety of conditions with a wet qualifying, drying track for race one, and sunny conditions for race two, on Saturday, July 3.
In a tight qualifying session, both Ethan and Matt showed great pace but late flyers by rivals left them fourth and fifth in the Pro class for race one, while Charlie would line up seventh in Am.
For the two drivers in Pro, it would be a fairly uneventful 25-minute contest as they struggled to make headway against the breakaway leaders, but Charlie showed excellent speed to lap on a par with the class victors, though he was thwarted in his progress by some robust defending by the experienced Nigel Rice, ending the race in sixth place.
Ethan made an excellent start to race two, sweeping into third place with a daring move around the outside of Charles Clark at Old Hall and quickly set after Jack Bartholomew in second, though couldn’t quite overhaul him. Matt was in close quarters to Clark himself, but was unable to get close enough to make a move, settling for fifth. In Am, there was disappointment for Charlie however, as he went out on lap two after a spin trying to make a pass on Peter Chambers.
After back-to-back race weekends, there is now a break in action for the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB competitors before they return over the weekend of August 28/29, racing alongside the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.
Ethan Hawkey, #40, Pro
G1 – 4, R1 – 4
G2 – 4, R2 – 3
Championship: 3 (52 points)
“The podium in race two was nice. We went in a positive direction with the car set up and I think from the next round onwards it is going to keep going in the right direction so we can try to push for that win.
“It is still a new championship and every round we compete in is a step closer to getting the car right and improving our pace. I am getting stronger as well, so the whole package is getting better and better and hopefully we can finish off the second half of the season on a high.”
Matt Armstrong, #9, Pro
G1 – 5, R1 – 5,
G2 – 5, R2 – 5
Championship: 5 (29 points)
“It was the first weekend I have made a big step forwards, so although the positions didn’t change the gap between me and the front runners is a lot closer. The difference between qualifying in the wet to start the season at Thruxton and at Oulton Park this weekend was night and day.
“Race one I struggled a little as I was over driving a bit, but race two went a lot better when I calmed down. I tend to over drive when I get frustrated and reigning it back made me faster, so I was finding it easy to stay with the main pack. It will be important to keep testing and it was really helpful having Josh Webster here as well so we can get the car in a good place ready for Thruxton.”
Charlie March, #7, Am
G1 – 7, R1 – 6,
G2 – 6, R2 – DNF
Championship: 8 (17 points)
“The takeaway from this weekend was that you can’t mess up qualifying as it leaves you with a lot to do in the race. I was stuck behind other cars and at a track like this it is really hard to overtake, so it was really frustrating.
“I am so new to racing that I haven’t quite got the confidence to know when I should be making a pass and when I should be hesitant. I am lacking the decisiveness to put it all on the line.”
Team Parker Racing
Entrant Championship: 1 (211 points)