Team Parker Racing remains on top of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB standings as Kiern Jewiss claimed a podium finish at Knockhill, but a scary incident involving five cars at the start of the opening race marred the weekend.
As third placed starter Matthew Graham was slow off the line, he was collected at high speed by an unsighted Ryan Ratcliffe, with three other cars caught in the melee, including Will Aspin. While Will was able to race later in the day, Ryan suffered a suspected broken collarbone, requiring a trip to hospital for an x-ray, but was later confirmed to be fine but sore, and would take no further part.
In qualifying, held the day prior, drivers had to work hard to set quick lap times as the session was beset by yellow and red flags, making it tricky to warm up the tyres and lap with them in the optimal operating window, though Kiern did well to claim second.
When the opening contest was able to be restarted, Kiern drove a mature race in second position, knowing that Gus Burton ahead wasn’t a championship rival. Closing in on him in the latter stages of the race, he was warned about track limits and opted to settle for his position rather than risk a penalty.
In Pro-Am, Charles Bateman has a somewhat lonely run in fourth place, while debutant Dominique Bastien was happy to avoid the initial incident but with a steep learning curve wasn’t quite able to show all his ability, claiming fifth at the flag.
Will was able to take the start of the second race thanks to hard work by the team to repair his Porsche, but understandably a little cautious after the earlier incident, being passed by Charles as the pair finished fourth and fifth, while Dominique claimed fourth in Am.
Up front, Kiern started well but was squeezed right against the pit wall by Will Martin, having to back out and losing momentum in the process. Able to then pass his own team-mate, Josh Malin, Kiern wasn’t able to follow through, settling for fourth position and limiting any possible damage in the championship standings.
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB is back on track in two weeks’ time, heading to Snetterton in Norfolk for rounds nine and ten of the 2022 season.
Kiern Jewiss, #26, Pro
G1 – 2, R1 – 2
G2 – 4, R2 – 4
Championship: 1 (62 points)
“Free practice was good. We tried different things and I think the pace was pretty strong. In qualifying we didn’t quite have it in the sweet spot, and everyone went faster under the yellows, so that promoted us back to P2.
“On the front row for race one, we had a good result with P2 and fastest lap which is great for the championship, especially with Burton winning the race. I let him go at the start and I tried to let him push on and then hopefully he’d relax a bit. I started my charge, got the fastest lap, and then unfortunately, we got a track limits warning. I wasn’t quite sure why, but it brought it to a halt as I didn’t want to risk a result over a five second penalty, because even if we had got to him, the likelihood of him passing him was very, very slim.
“Race two was a bit frustrating. I got a lightning start and unfortunately, I had to jump on the anchors because Will [Martin] wanted to keep squeezing and squeezing to the point where we got to the wall, so I had to back out. I lost the momentum which meant that Will could get past his team-mate and then eventually Adam got a penalty, so it made life a bit harder for the championship. Let’s see what we can do when we get to some tracks where we can overtake and try to get some more points back on them.”
Ryan Ratcliffe, #33, Pro-Am
G1 – 3, R1 – DNF
G2 – DNS, R2 – DNS
Pro-Am Championship: 4 (40 points)
“I’m a bit sore. Matty Graham was slow off the line – he was third and I was like 13th, so I had a bit of momentum by the time I got to where he was. I was unsighted when I came up on him and just went straight into the back of him. The impact was insane, and I’ve never felt anything like it before. It’s probably the biggest accident of my career, but I’ll work to recover for Snetterton.”
Will Aspin, #9, Pro-Am
G1 – 5, R1 – DNF
G2 – 5, R2 – 5
Pro-Am Championship: 3 (42 points)
“Free practice was good, and we were getting faster and faster, but we got to the point where we struggled to hook up a lap. We worked on that for qualifying and when we were on a lap which would have probably been pole in Pro-Am, we span at the chicane, so we lost out. We went out on the second set of new tyres, but we didn’t go any faster.
“In race one, we just had an incident at the start, where Matthew Graham was slow away and there was a massive backlog of other drivers, which we were unluckily to get caught up in. Thankfully there wasn’t as much damage to the car as others and I’ve got to thank Team Parker Racing for doing such a great job to get the car fixed in time for race two.
“I had a good start for the second race, but it was just a bit messy from my side, and that’s why we weren’t able to make much progress. I guess it was many things, a bit of experience from my side as it’s still my first year driving in the car. I’m still learning and it’s quite a hard car to master. It’s a frustrating track because you can’t race closely around it, especially with these cars being so big and so powerful, so we need wider, longer circuits.”
Charles Bateman, #77, Pro-Am
G1 – 6, R1 – 4
G2 – 4, R2 – 4
Pro-Am Championship: 7 (29 points)
“The weekend has been up and down, just like Knockhill! Qualifying could have been better, but it’s so tight around this circuit. I had a little bit of an off at the chicane on my second run, which I was a bit disappointed about.
“It was actually quite good that I didn’t qualify much higher for race one but thank goodness Ryan and the other guys are okay. It’s the biggest accident on the start line in the Carrera Cup I’ve ever seen. I picked my way through that, and on the restart, I didn’t get a particularly good start, so I just sat fourth in class for the rest of the race. The pace was okay, but once we lost ground at the start, it was difficult to make it back up.
“My start to race two wasn’t so good either, but once I got past Josh Stanton and Will Aspin the pace was good. It was a fairly lonely race trying to catch up to the pack in front, but two fourths for a weekend isn’t too bad from my perspective. Will seemed to be struggling with his car and with the pace, so I went for the gap and the rest is history.”
Dominique Bastien, #34, Am
G1 – 5, R1 – 4
G2 – 4, R2 – 4
“There was no drama for me in the first race. I probably lacked a little intensity as those things slow you down. But I was looking forward to the second race. No drama is basically the way I can describe the first race, and fun. I am in it for the fun. Race two, I was kind of overmatched, but it was fun overall. That’s all I can say really: overmatched, but fun!
“I had two choices for this weekend; Spa or Knockhill, so I said forget Spa! It was on iRacing, so I could do some practising and learn the track and the standard has been great. The team is great. It’s 100% professional, very friendly, and supportive.
“The Carrera Cup GB is great as well. The track and the ambiance is more like old time racing versus corporate racing today, so it’s great and I love it. I probably lucked out and I look forward to maybe doing another race next year. It’s the fun, the learning, and the new experience, if you will, and this was definitely a new and most delightful experience for me.”