Team Parker Racing secured another eight podium finishes in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at the weekend (June 11/12), as the series travelled to Oulton Park in Cheshire for rounds five and six of the 2022 season.
After an official pre-event test on the Wednesday, as well as free practice on Friday, the team felt like it was in a position to have a successful weekend, but big leaps forward in performance by rivals caused a few headaches.
Digging deep, championship leader Kiern Jewiss claimed pole position in qualifying, but there was disappointment for Seb Morris, Charles Bateman, and Justin Sherwood, all of whom felt they could have gone better, while Will Aspin and Ryan Ratcliffe were both surprised at the pace of Pro-Am pole sitter Charles Rainford.
The opening race of the weekend was quickly red flagged as a couple of cars needed to be retrieved from the gravel, with Kiern stuck behind Rainford for the duration of the restarted contest, while Seb was forced to retire after taking heavy damage from another car.
In Pro-Am, Ryan and Will ran second and third, both taking the view that finishing where they were and scoring good points was better than risking a non-finish. Charles had to run over the grass at the start, damaging his splitter, which caused his car to lose performance. In the Am class, Justin took avoiding action off the line and had damage from clipping a kerb, having to settle for third position at the flag.
For Sunday’s race, shortened to a timed 20-minutes, Kiern once again found himself stuck behind Rainford, finishing third on the road and second of the Pro class drivers, while Seb again was forced to retire. It was a similar story as race one for Ryan, Will, and Charles in Pro-Am and Justin in the Am class, as they also found themselves unable to make up ground, settling for points as they take the long game in the hopes for championship success.
The team will be back out in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB over the weekend of July 30/31 as the series heads to Knockhill in Scotland for rounds seven and eight of the season, making the halfway point in the championship battle.
Kiern Jewiss, #26, Pro
G1 – 1, R1 – 3
G2 – 2, R2 – 2
Championship: 1 (46 points)
“I got pole position and didn’t convert it into anything, unfortunately. After the first set of tyres, in qualifying we were in a good place and Will [Martin] came out of nowhere. To be honest, on the pole lap I was two tenths up, lost it all in the hairpin, but managed to get it back through the rest of the lap. It was a good lap, but it was a shame about race one. I lost some ground at the start, and then unfortunately, was suffering a bit feeling unwell.
“I had a better start in race two, but you can’t follow around here with these new cars. It’s hard to overtake unless someone makes a massive mistake or is significantly slower. Charles [Rainford] drove well and I couldn’t get past, so it was a pretty uneventful one. It’s good points for the championship, we came in one point ahead and I think we’re now three in front.”
Seb Morris, #30, Pro
G1 – 7, R1 – DNF
G2 – 9, R2 – DNF
Championship: 8 (9 points)
“We made great strides with the car this weekend, but in qualifying I struggled on the new tyres. Unfortunately, I’m still new to this car, couldn’t hook it all up, and then had an issue with my neck, so it just was a nightmare. I started ninth and I was taken out by [Theo] Edgerton. I was on the inside of the hairpin and he drove down the grass and crashed into me, which dropped me to tenth, and then on the restart I got a flying start, Edgerton went off again then came back on and Gus Burton had a big tank slapper and speared into the side of my car, punched a hole in the wheel, and the suspension was ruined, so that was the day over.
“I’m lost for words about race two. I had a good start and was pushed off a bit at the hairpin, so I had to go straight on and turn around and come back, so the race was pretty much over at that point.”
Ryan Ratcliffe, #33, Pro-Am
G1 – 3, R1 – 2
G2 – 2, R2 – 2
Pro-Am Championship: 2= (40 points)
“Qualifying was frustrating. I came in after the first set of tyres and Will [Aspin] was quickest in class, a tenth faster than me, so when I went out on the second set I knew if I’d gone three or four tenths faster, it would have been a good lap. In the end I went six tenths faster and I thought ‘this is a really good lap,’ so I was in a really good mood pulling into parc fermé, thinking I was like top five overall with pole in class. Then the team showed me the timings and I was 14th overall and third in class!
“I had a shocking start for race one and I lost around four places off the line. I had a better start the second time and there was a bit of an incident at turn one which I managed to gain four places from. I got onto the back of the leading pack, but it was hard to overtake. I could have had an opportunity, but it would have been putting myself at risk, so I made the decision to stick onto the pack.
“It was an uneventful race two. I got a pretty good start and kept it from there really. It’s frustrating again because I think the pace compared to the cars in front of us was better, there’s just nowhere to overtake if they position their car right. We’ve been consistent and if we can carry on the way we are, come the end of the year we’ll be in with a shout.”
Will Aspin, #9, Pro-Am
G1 – 2, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – 3
Pro-Am Championship: 4 (38 points)
“Our first practice session wasn’t great, but in the second one we found a load of time and I think we were really looking positive going into qualifying. Unfortunately, in qualifying we didn’t show our true potential as I made a mistake at the chicane, being a bit too aggressive on the throttle, and into Druids I lost the back because the tyre was falling off.
“We had an okay race on Saturday, but we got a bit sandwiched at he start and got hung out to dry, on the grass, and then sat behind the Safety Car. On the restart Ryan managed to make a hole for me to follow and I just stuck on his rear for the for the whole race. There were a couple of times I could have overtaken him but in the end we’re here to win the championship. We want to stack up the points and it doesn’t matter where you are now, it matters where you are in the last couple of races.
“On Sunday I finished third again but in a way it’s not where we’d like to be. If we hadn’t messed up qualifying, we would have been in the top five for sure and fighting with Charles [Rainford]. Hopefully this is the only round where he is so dominant, but we’ll see what happens at Knockhill. Hopefully me and Ryan will finish one-two after the halfway point of the season.”
Charles Bateman, #77, Pro-Am
G1 – 7, R1 – 7
G2 – 7, R2 – 7
Championship: 6 (21 points)
“Free practice was alright, and we had fairly good pace in the car. Testing all week had gone okay for us and then in qualifying I messed up on my first set of tyres and didn’t get any benefit on the second.
“Race one wasn’t ideal. On the restart going into turn one everyone backed up and I had to avoid the car in front so went on the grass, had a bit of a wild ride, lost the front splitter, and that was basically race over from that point. The car felt good, and I felt like we had good pace, so we could have been a lot further forward, but it is what it is.
“Race two, the start wasn’t great. Our race pace was good but I just couldn’t get on the back of Nathan Harrison, I just couldn’t catch up. I like Knockhill, I either go really fast or crash, so we’ll see what happens.”
Justin Sherwood, #7, Am
G1 – 4, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – 3
Championship: 2 (43 points)
“Qualifying was really close, and I had a decent lap, but then came in and it was P4. I made one or two mistakes as I’m still not comfortable with this car at the moment but it’s getting better. I’m still learning and hopefully we should get better results going forward.
“The first start was really good, I got up to second and then I was running with Josh [Stanton] and I had quite good pace. I had an initial good restart but then Charles had a bad start in front of me, so I had to go around him and then Mark [Radcliffe] got a run on me. To be honest, I struggled a bit after that. I think I hit the kerb a bit too hard on the first lap and that put my steering out and it’s difficult to pass around here but to be fair, I didn’t really have the pace so third position was the best I could do.
“I had a reasonable start to race two. The initial launch was okay, but Charles had a bad start in front of me, so I had to hesitate a little bit and that allowed Nigel [Rice] to get by. I had a good battle with him for a few laps and managed to get alongside out of the hairpin. Mark was up the road a bit so I got my head down and caught him but couldn’t get by and Josh was long gone, way up the road.”