Team Parker Racing enjoyed a superb start to the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB season, as it dominated the weekend’s races, locking out the podium on all three occasions on Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit.
There was joy for Charles Clark and Matt Armstrong, who both claimed maiden series victories, while Harry Foster proved his impressive debut appearance last season was no fluke, and John White had an enjoyable weekend as he continues his development in his first full season of competition.
It was Charles who laid down the first marker, clinching pole position for races one and two with his two fastest laps in qualifying, but he would be disappointed in the opening 20-minute contest as a small mistake at Vale gave Matt a chance to sweep by. From there, despite Charles’ best efforts, he could not find a way past. Harry had a somewhat lonely race on his own in third to round off the podium, while behind, John showed well, finishing fifth in the Am class.
In race two Charles wouldn’t make the same mistake, fending off Matt to clinch his first win, while Harry recovered after dropping to fifth off the start, to climb back up to third, though by then his team-mates were too far ahead to catch. John recorded his quickest lap of the weekend during the contest but was disappointed to spin into the gravel in the closing stages, causing his retirement.
In the final race Harry showed the early pace, setting the fastest lap, but Matt and Charles both responded by themselves setting quick times and, with little between them, there would be no change of position to the flag. In Am, John made up one place on the opening lap and tried to make a move for fourth, before having a spin. He recovered well but just ran out of time to make up any more ground, crossing the line 2.7s behind the car ahead.
The Porsche Sprint Challenge GB will return to action over the weekend of May 28/29, competing alongside the British Touring Car Championship at the UK’s fastest circuit, Thruxton.
Charles Clark, #77, Pro
G1 – 1, R1 – 2
G2 – 1, R2 – 1
G3 – 1, R3 – 1
Championship: 1 (32 points)
“I qualified P1 which was great and then was leading on the first lap of the opening race but made a little mistake which put me P2. I fought the whole race but couldn’t quite get it back. Race two was good, getting my first win in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB. The first win is always great, and it’s been a good start to the championship.
“I’m happy with how the weekend has gone to be fair as I struggled last year. This season we’ve put it all together and got our first good results. Hopefully, we can push on, keep putting in results, and getting points. I know it’s a long season ahead so I’m going to keep improving.
“I want to say thanks to the team as well. Everyone’s been very easy to get on with and I’ve clicked with them straight away. Two wins is also a nice way to showcase Bradley Performance, my new business. I’ve got to get back to work on Monday morning and I’m a bit sunburned!”
Matt Armstrong, #9, Pro
G1 – 2, R1 – 1
G2 – 2, R2 – 2
G3 – 2, R3 – 2
Championship: 2 (26 points)
“Qualifying was okay. My lap wasn’t that great so I knew I could go a bit better in the race. I think I was quite strong, and my move on Charles was excellent! He overshot the chicane after Stowe, and then I undercut him going through Club. After that I defended for my life because I think he was a bit faster than me. I was looking in my mirrors which is never a good thing as it always stops you going as fast as you can, but it was a good result.
“Race two was good. I should have gone past Charles on the first couple of laps and then after that it was difficult to make a move, so I just settled where I was. It wasn’t to be in race three, so we’ll try a bit better for the next one. It’s been positive but I think winning the first one and then finishing second twice is always a bit disappointing. Second isn’t good enough now, not this year. The goal is to win.”
Harry Foster, #16, Pro
G1 – 3, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – 3
G3 – 3, R3 – 3
Championship: 3 (18 points)
“I was happy with P3 in qualifying as I wasn’t very consistent and it was hard to improve as the tyres went off, but it wasn’t a bad place to start at Silverstone. I started race one well and then got into a bit of a battle and sort of lost Matt and Charles. From then I was on a race of my own really, I was sort of keeping with them, but it was an uneventful P3.
“I had a bit of an issue flicking from automatic to manual in race two, so I lost a place at the start, but got back into my starting position quite quickly. I chased down third, had a little battle with him, and by the time I got past, Charles and Matt were already too far down the road. I was happy with P3, and it was a good recovery drive.
“I think we’re showing decent pace at the moment, but I want to be up there to be able to battle otherwise I’m sort of on my own. I think it was good for the first race but there’s a small bit of pace to find. I wasn’t too far off, so I’m happy with how it’s going and I’m trying to catch up with my team-mates as they’re a year ahead of me.”
John White, #17, Am
G1 – 5, R1 – 5
G2 – 5, R2 – DNF
G3 – 6, R3 – 5
Championship: 5 (8 points)
“I was better at qualifying. I had a bit of a nightmare with a spin earlier on, which ruined the race really for me, but I came second from last. So I’m on the up. it’s just repetition just getting better and better. But I have my good moments and my bad moments and see if I can just keep improving.
“Spinning off in race two was disappointing, but I was quite impressed with myself with the lap times that I did to be honest! If I can keep building on that I’ll be on the right track. I had a bit more confidence in race three, but I had a little spin and that sort of knocked my confidence a little bit. I decided I wanted to get back in the game, so I started catching up and I wasn’t too far away from the car in front at the end. I’ve enjoyed myself, with my family and everything. It’s great, you can’t beat it really, I’ve got on fantastically with the team, in fairness, everyone’s lovely, and what’s better than racing cars?!”