Team Parker Racing endured a trying weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as the series headed to Thruxton over the weekend (August 27/28), though remains on top of the championship standings.
The team was boosted by two new faces to the series, as British GT Championship duo Nick Jones and Scott Malvern stood in for Justin Sherwood and Charles Bateman, respectively, Nick making his series debut and Scott returning for the first time since a guest drive in 2017.
In another extremely close qualifying session, Kiern Jewiss was a mere 0.4s from pole but found himself sixth in Pro and seventh overall, while Jake Giddings was ninth and Scott tenth. In Pro-Am, Will Aspin drove well to qualify second, with Ryan Ratcliffe disappointed to be sixth, and Nick was second in Am on his debut.
As race one got underway on Sunday morning, Ryan made early progress to climb one place in Pro-Am, while Will had a tough start, dropping back to fourth, while everyone else held firm. A spin for Hugo Ellis on the fifth lap promoted Will and Ryan up a spot each, as the former began to put pressure on Nathan Harrison ahead.
In Pro, Kiern was stuck to the rear of Matty Graham who had snuck past in the early going, forcing some small errors on his rival as he looked to find an opportunity to get past, making the move on the outside of Seagrave and into Cobb, which then became fifth as Josh Malin came into the pits with a puncture.
Kiern was then able to set his fastest laps of the race as he had clear air, albeit with a large gap to Theo Edgerton ahead. Behind him, Jake and Scott were stuck in a train of cars behind Graham, though the former pulled alongside on lap 14, but couldn’t quite get the move completed. Ryan, Will, and Nick remained as they were, but Jake fell back to ninth on the penultimate lap as Oliver White snuck past.
It was a disappointing start to race two for Will as he bounced over the kerb as Jake was alongside, which sent him into the barriers and retirement. Ryan had a spin on lap four, sending him down the order, while Kiern ran fifth, Scott ninth, and Nick second in Am.
In the closing stages, Kiern reeled in Will Martin and Gus Burton who were battling ahead, but couldn’t quite get on terms with the pair, taking fifth. Scott finished ninth in Pro, Jake was tenth, and Nick slid off on the final lap at the chicane, into the barriers.
Kiern remains leader in the championship standings, albeit by a reduced two points, as the team looks ahead to rounds 13 and 14 of the season which take place on the Silverstone National circuit over the weekend of September 24/25.
Kiern Jewiss, #26, Pro
G1 – 6, R1 – 5
G2 – 5, R2 – 5
Championship: 1 (89 points)
“When you come into the weekend with a 14-point lead and you walk away with no lead at all, it’s disappointing. We had a tough weekend from start to finish really but we have two rounds left, so let’s just try and make the most of them and see if we come out on top.
“Nothing really went our way, we struggled with the car balance a lot and that was it. You just can’t follow around here so it’s always hard work, but it was tough and just purely damage limitation all weekend. The weekend is done, I’m glad about that. Let’s see what happens at the next one.”
Jake Giddings, #41, Pro
G1 – 8, R1 – 8
G2 – 8, R2 – 9
Championship: 11 (8 points)
“The weekend wasn’t the best. Qualifying wasn’t too bad, though it would have been nice to be a couple more places high, but least I didn’t manage to mess it up so bad this time. The first race I gave a position away just through lack of concentration and race two I thought would be a bit better. I got a horrendous start, just got swamped and it took three or four laps to get the tyres in. By then though everybody had gone around me and, once we got in a rhythm I think we were sixth fastest, but the damage was done early on. I didn’t have any grip at the start. Silverstone is only three corners, so we can’t go wrong there!”
Scott Malvern, #87, Pro
G1 – 10, R1 – 9
G2 – 9, R2 – 10
“It’s been fun. The last time I raced at Thruxton was 2012 in Formula Renault, and it was basically flat all the way around except for the chicane and the complex, so a bit easier! I was quite happy with qualifying, it was good to be only four tenths off Kiern, who’s in the championship fight. I struggled really, just with going from the GT3 I’ve driven for the last three years, with all that aero, to this, which is essentially the same speed, but with no aero. It’s quite a big learning curve, especially around here as it’s so bumpy and so fast.
“I’m surprised I was as close as I was having not been here for ten years in a car I’ve never driven before. I’m pleased to be mixing it with some of the other Pros who have been here all year. Race two was particularly good for me in terms of making a couple of nice moves with Jake and I made a nice move with [Oliver] White as well. He was pretty robust, very aggressive and knocked the tracking out for the rest of the race, so I struggled after that. I also had to learn about the tyre and utilising it as a sprint tyre, as opposed to what I’m used to, as the Pirelli is a lot more fragile than this. The Michelin seems very robust, and I was a bit surprised how good it was. That caught me out a bit, so the second race I pushed a lot harder, and I think the pace was okay considering the damage.”
Will Aspin, #9, Pro-Am
G1 – 2, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – DNF
Championship: 5 (48 points)
“After practice, we were looking good, but going into qualifying, I made mistakes throughout the lap. We should have qualified in the top five if we had done what we did on Friday, being patient on the throttle. We didn’t because I was just too eager, wanting it too much.
“Race one, we went in with a good mindset, we were looking good, and we finished 12th, third class, looking stronger than the people in front. But the thing is around here, once you get in the dirty air, you can’t overtake, even if you’re faster than the people in front, there’s no chance you’ll get past unless they make a mistake. You’re pressuring them right until the end. We couldn’t do anything to go up a position in that race. My start wasn’t very good. I just didn’t release the clutch very well, so I bogged down off the line.
“Race two I had a really good start, but then we crashed. I overtook two or three people then tried to go down inside of Jake into turn one. I threw the car over the kerb to not take him out and instead of him spinning, it caused me to drop off the kerb and send me around into the barrier. You’re going to have these races I guess, and it’s all part of learning.”
Ryan Ratcliffe, #33, Pro-Am
G1 – 6, R1 – 4
G2 – 4, R2 – DNF
Championship: 3 (53 points)
“Qualifying was frustrating. I made a mistake on my last set of tyres, and you could see on the data that the pace was there, but unfortunately, I had a lock up and I just couldn’t achieve what was achievable if I hadn’t done that. Race one was good, I quite enjoyed it, but once the race gets into its rhythm it’s pretty hard to overtake around here because it’s so fast. These new cars are a lot more difficult to race because they have a lot more aero that the car is dependent on, so as soon as you get stuck behind someone it’s like a procession really.
“Race two was a complete disaster. Angus [Whiteside] got past me at the start and then I was all over him for two or three laps. He made a mistake going into the complex, I went round his outside and he just left me no room, pushed me wide and that was that. I ended up bouncing over the kerb, going straight into the side of him, and couldn’t do anything about it, which broke the steering. It’s been an unlucky run, but I need to regroup and go again for Silverstone.”
Nick Jones, #66, Am
G1 – 2, R1 – 2
G2 – 2, R2 – DNF
“It was nice to do it. It was always going to be a tough ask having a go in a Cup car on the fastest circuit in the UK. Fair play to those who drive these around pretty quickly! There’s obviously a bit of a knack to how you do it, but it is what it is. It was all learning and we just decided we’d have a go at it, and it beat me in the end at the last corner, so apart from that, it was alright. I just got my head down and it was an experience. I’ve never been around Thruxton, and a Cup car is pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty flippin’ hairy! It’s been fun, I’m glad I did it, it’s good experience, something to say I’ve driven, but I’m looking forward to getting back in my GT3 R now!”
Source. Torque/Photo. Porsche