Rick Parfitt, Jr and Ryan Ratcliffe took the 2013 British GT4 title, marking the fourth Ginetta team to take the title in the five year history of the championship.
Six Ginetta G50 drivers arrived at Donington Park with the chance of championship glory, the main protagonists being Optimum Motorsport’s Parfitt and Ratcliffe and Century Motorsport’s Declan Jones, who was joined by Nathan Freke after Zoe Wenham left the team. Wenham still challenged for the title, however, joining Rory Bryant at Blendini Motorsport.
None of the title challengers managed to take pole position for the final round, with new team Twisted Team Parker claiming the first spot on the grid, although they were not eligible to take points from the race itself.
Adrian Barwick, who began the race for Twisted Team Parker, struggled from the top spot as many teams elected to field their ‘gentleman driver’ for the opening stint, with contact from a GT3 forcing Barwick to the pits, promoting the Optimum machine in to the GT4 lead.
As the race unfolded, Jones did all he had to do to keep his hopes alive, taking the victory after team-mate Freke had pulled out a comfortable in the opening stint. Ratcliffe, however, was holding second place in the championship-leading car, knowing a podium result would secure the 2013 crown.
Ratcliffe was handed a stop-go penalty for a pit stop infraction, but had a large enough lead to hold second on the exit of the pitlane. However, the second-placed Aston Martin had closed right up on the G50, but Ratcliffe, knowing the Aston wasn’t scoring points, gave up the position at Redgate, holding third, enough to secure the title across the line.
“It was a bit frustrating and I could see I was catching Declan all the time, but I didn’t want to put the car in an unnecessary position,” said Ratcliffe. “And, as soon as I got closer, a group of five GT3s would come past and I had to get out the way. When I got the drive through I was disappointed, but took it and got back out and then when the Aston closed on me I just let him through so there was no chance he could hassle me into the Craners. We’re really happy, it hasn’t sunk in yet and probably won’t for a few days, it doesn’t feel like I’ve won anything.”
“Ginetta are over the moon with the support from all the G50 GT4 customers,” said Ginetta chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson. “All the cars have been prepared and run to a very high standard, making them the class of the field. Ryan and Rick at Optimum Motorsport have had a faultless year and are very worthy champions. With the introduction of the all-new Ginetta G55 GT4 car in 2014, we are hopeful of a sixth GT4 championship winning year.”