Team Parker Racing enjoyed more success in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in Round three and four at Donington Park, with driver Euan Hankey leading the way, picking up his second win of the season, the team's third.
Running under the Parker with Juta banner, Hankey started fourth on the grid and got a great start to leap into second. He then worked his way on the tail of team-mate Sam Tordoff and benefitted from a mistake by the leader to take the win.
Hankey said: “That was a brilliant race. I didn't get a fantastic start, but they all went to the inside for the first corner and braked early – and I went around the outside. I got into the rhythm and was catching Sam ever so slightly. Then when he made his mistake I chilled out – we're only allowed two sets of tyres per race weekend and I'd flat-spotted my other set in qualifying, so I knew I'd have to save these ones for race two. I backed off big time.”
He continued his good form, taking a strong third place despite running on the old tyres. The result sees the Somerset man move into third in the championship.
He added: “I knew I couldn't keep the pace on the tyres, and at one point I made a horrible mistake at the chicane and I was heading towards the wall. I was extremely lucky to get out of that one alive! Then the tyres came back in and I couldn't believe my pace at the end. A big thanks to my team.”
The weekend didn't go as well for team-mate Stephen Jelley, who headed into the meeting leading the championship. However he was forced out of the opening race at his local track after contact with reigning champion Tim Harvey.
Commenting on the clash, the former BTCC race winner said: “He launched up the inside and I gave him room, but he hit me hard on the exit of the corner and damaged my right-rear wheel.”
The Leicester-based driver managed to salvage some points in the second race, taking fifth place, though the earlier DNF saw him drop to fourth in the championship.
Looking to outperform the two frontrunners was Carrera Cup rookie Tordoff, who stunned many by qualifying second for both races. The former Clio Cup race winner then shot off in the opening race to take the lead and looked set for a race win until hitting trouble with a backmarker. He was forced to go off road to pass him, dropping him to tenth, before he worked his way back to eighth.
Tordoff said: “We've got mega race pace and I led it comfortably. A backmarker got in my way and I had to go wide to pass him. I got onto the loose rubber marbles, which ran me wide onto the grass, and then round she went. I'd made my best start ever and Euan and I were seven seconds ahead of the field. For me to do that so early in my Carrera Cup career is fantastic.”
Fellow Yorkshireman Richard Plant produced a strong comeback after struggling in qualifying, pushing championship leader James Sutton hard for a podium place, finishing in a great fourth place.
Plant said: “It was lucky bearing in mind the incidents that others had, but I'm happy with the result. I'd like to get a podium obviously, but I'm sure that will come soon.”
In the second race, Plant continued to impressive, challenging Jelley and Harvey throughout, eventually taking seventh place. For team-mate Tordoff, the race ended in frustration after an engine failure saw him lose out on a comfortable third place.
For the two Dextra JD Pierce by Parker drivers in Pro-Am1, the weekend was a case of 'what if'. Both Derek Pierce and Alex Martin held podium positions during the races, but lost out in the action packed races,
Race one was Martin running close behind eventual class winner Ahmad Al Harthy, but a mistake at the Old Hairpin dropped him down the field. Scotsman Pierce benefitted to take a podium place, but then made a mistake at the same corner, losing ground. He recovered to overtake Martin and take fifth in class.
Race two saw Pierce take an early third place, followed by Martin. However a spin for Martin at McLeans dropped him back, with the West Country driver recovering to sixth, while Pierce was looking strong finish until being forced to go offline to overtake a retiring Tordoff saw him succumb to retirement.
Martin said: “We're bang on the pace and I've got to stop making these mistakes. If ever I had the opportunity to win the class, the first race was it, but I dropped a wheel off and spun it. I've got to stop losing concentration – but if race-driving was easy it would be boring!”
For the teams only pro-am2 driver John Taylor, the weekend once again taught him a lot, with both races ending with top six finishes in class. He added: “It was very enjoyable and I had a few good dices. With the warm weather it gets very hot in the car, but I'm glad to complete the weekend with two finishes.”
Team principal Stuart Parker added: “Euan's done a fantastic job, and in many ways his performance in the second race was as impressive as his win – perhaps even more so – to bring it home on those tyres. It was tough for Stephen, and obviously things aren't quite right so we'll have a close look before the next round.
“Sam's pace was amazing for someone in just his second Carrera Cup meeting. It's very promising. Richard learned a lot again and he's knocking on the door of a really good result.
“The pro-am1 drivers have both got good speed but they just have to keep it on the black stuff, and then they'll get good results – as they proved first time out at Brands Hatch.”