Team Parker Racing showed their potential at Thruxton this weekend with and amazing debut from newcomer Euan Hankey as he took two podiums in the opening races of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
With his only experience previously being in single-seaters Hankey got down to business on Saturday qualifying an impressive fourth behind seasoned veterans Harvey and Caine and last year’s Porsche Scholar Tom Bradshaw. Qualifying for Hankey didn’t go as well as it could of after he was stripped of his fastest time as he had straight-lined the chicane.
Hankey made a great start to the first race running second in the opening four laps before Michael Caine got the jump on the young debutant, Hankey would hold on for third place in his first ever Porsche race. The second race saw him get a great start once again, jumping up to second place, this time with more confidence, holding off Caine and closing in on Tim Harvey for the lead. Harvey held on for the win but admitted after the race he was surprised at the pace Hankey had shown to deservedly win the 'Driver of the Weekend' award.
“I'm absolutely over the moon with my races and I never thought this could happen,” said Hankey. “Before today I'd never done a practice start in a Porsche. The first time I tried it was on the green-flag lap for race one, and that wasn't particularly good. Then at the real start I nailed it – I couldn't believe it.”
The result in the second race was made more impressive after the Somerset youngster admitted he had to change gear with his left arm over the last few laps due to muscle build up in hsi right arm. “It's seriously tough and hot,” he added, “and I'm dreading what it's going to be like in the summer! But the whole weekend has gone better than I expected, although it's going to be very tough to beat the older guys and win a race.”
Glynn Geddie had a solid start to his campaign on his junx circuit. “The plan this weekend was just to get some points on the board so I'm pleased with the results. At the end of the first race I felt there was a clutch problem starting, and in race two the gearbox wouldn't go into second on downshifts, but I'm happy to finish both races.”
Stephen Jelly had a mixed weekend on his switch from Touring Cars to Porsche’s as he took sixth place in race one only to be left disapointed with a gearbox problem in race two, leaving him at the sidelines as everyone formed up on the grid. “Because I didn't do the test, those were actually my first dry laps around Thruxton in a Porsche!” he remarked. “The first few laps I just braked where the guy in front did, and from then on it was so difficult to overtake.”
Team principal Stuart Parker said: “Euan should have had pole position, because his fastest lap was so good he would have been quickest without straight-lining the chicane. For him to come away with second and third on his first weekend is great. It was good for Glynn to get points and he'll be a major title contender from now on, and Stephen was unlucky but did a good job in race one.”
Team Parker Racing will be looking forward to getting back out on track on 24/25 April as the BTCC package head to Rockingham.
Photo credit: Pete Mainey