British GT Season Review: Team Parker Racing and Bentley Victorious

Source: Ian Cutting Photography

The 2017 British GT season saw a maiden championship win for the Team Parker Racing duo of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr in their Bentley.

After playing catch-up all season, the Bentley duo finally secured the title at the season finale held at Donington Park beating rivals Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen in a great GT3 scrap.

The GT4 title also went to the final weekend and the spoils eventually went to the young HHC Motorsport pairing of Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton in their Ginetta after a great battle with Lanan Racing’s pairing of Alex Reed and David Pittard.

Bentley rules supreme.

Source: Ian Cutting Photography

The Bentley pairing worked so well together that at times it was hard to distinguish between the Am and Pro drivers as the season progressed. The #31 Bentley pairing started off slowly but got that winning feeling underway at round 3 held at Rockingham. Season rivals #33 Barwell Motorsport on the other hand got their season off to a flying start by winning both races at the opening round at Oulton Park. From then on it was cat and mouse between these two outfits right until the final round.

The Gentleman Driver Trophy also went Parfitt Jnr’s way after another season long battle again with Barwell Motorsport’s Minshaw.

Barwell gave it their all, again.

Source: Ian Cutting Photography

After finishing runners up in 2016, Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen wanted to go one better. They got their season off to the best start winning both rounds at Oulton Park. The duo went on to win a further 2 races in the season. The season unravelled a bit starting at Spa when in the lead of the second race, they were spun by???? and fell back. In the end it wasn’t to be again, and to add insult to injury, they were disqualified from the last race.

In the sister Lamborghini they had 2016 BTCC runner-up Sam Tordoff partnering Liam Griffin, but a couple of DNFs hampered their ambitions although they did score some podiums to finish 5th overall in the championship.

Trouble year for reigning champions.

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2016 GT3 champions Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston had a very difficult and frustrating 2017 campaign and couldn’t challenge in their Aston Martin to regain their GT3 title. Even though they won races at Snetterton and the season finale, they couldn’t keep pace with their Lambroghini and Bentley rivals throughout the year. They had done enough though in the year to claim 3rd overall. It was also mixed fourtunes for Jonny Adam, even though he couldn’t retain his British GT3 title, he claimed the GT3 Le Mans title.

Best of the rest.

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Macmillan AMR pairing Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn had pace in their Aston Martin and secured various pole positions but couldn’t always benefit from that. Several podiums helped the pairing to finish 6th overall.

Young guns led the GT4 way.

Source: Ian Cutting Photography

Former 2016 Ginetta Junior drivers joined forces and worked together at HHC Motorsport to claim the GT4 title. After a year of battling each other in the Juniors, Tregurtha and Middleton not only had to work togther, but also had to learn about the GT4 Ginetta. It didn’t take them long to get that first win, in fact it came courtesy of the third round at Rockingham. A disappointing second race at Snetterton and then at Silverstone didn’t hinder the young duo, in fact it spurred them on and at Spa they were back at the sharp end. Good races at Brands Hatch and Donington cemented their GT4 title win from rivals Lanan Racing and the late charging 2016 GT4 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson.

Late surge for 2016 Champions.

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Reigning GT4 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson made a last surge to claim 2nd spot in the drivers’ standings. The first part of the season they were on the podium 3 successive times but fell away from the front. They also swapped from the Ginetta to a McLaren mid-season too. Despite missing Brands Hatch, a win at Donington sealed the 2nd place in the championship.

So close, yet so far.

Source: Ian Cutting Photography

Lanan Racing had a great start to the year winning the second event. From then on duo Alex Reed and David Pittard had a great run of points and another points win at Spa. An unfortunate last two rounds put paid to that GT4 title challenge, but the pairing certainly entertained and challenged HHC Motorsport hard all year.

What if…

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Returning to the championship, Track-Club opened their campaign with a win in their McLaren for Adam Balon and Adam Mackay and scored their 2nd win at the Silverstone 500 showcase. A few problems meant they couldn’t maintain a consistant presence at the sharp end. Nonetheless they ended the season 4th overall, but the pace was there and for Track-Club it must have been a season of ‘what ifs’…

The new season starts again at Oulton Park over the Easter Weekend in 2018.