© Ryan Ratcliffe 2017
Produced by Abbott Designs Ltd
Brands Hatch -
So it was off to my favourite UK track, for round 7 of the British GT Championship Brands Hatch GP. I had been there 2 weeks previous competing in the Britcar Endurance Series with Flick Haigh in her Ginetta G55, so a good test ahead of the British GT. The weekend could not have started any better. Myself and Rick showed good pace in both free practise sessions but I did my best lap times in qualifying. I scored my first ever pole position in British GT and was the only GT4 car to get in to the 1.33’s. Following Dan Brown and Steve Tandy starting from pole position in the GT3 class, it was a fantastic result for 888Optimum and Optimum Motorsport.
Rick had just returned from a spell in hospital, where he was taken very ill due to Crohns disease. I was extremely worried firstly for Rick’s health and secondly, would he be well enough to race at Brands Hatch. The main concern for myself and the team, was to worked with Rick to get the car set up and Rick on the pace. Running on old rubber, we worked throughout Saturday to get a good setup for qualifying.
Rick drove a truly awesome first half. He was a class act, and although still weak from his illness, continued to pull away from the 2nd APO Sport car of James May and Alex Osborne. With a good lead and a slick pit stop by the Optimum team I was well placed to push ahead and bring the car home safely. Although I had the Century car of Declan Jones real me in following a visit to the pits but I knew they were a few laps down, so let them through. I could now conserve my tyres and take it easy to reducing stress on the car.
After a fantastic win, leading from lights to flag, Rick and I have now increased our championship lead to 27.5 points. It is a fantastic feeling to be leading the championship and we are looking to extend it.
Parfitt Jnr. “I was lucky to pull away a bit, but I was really struggling with my strength after only coming out of hospital earlier that week due to Crohns disease. Now I have to go away and build up my strength because I think I overestimated exactly what I could achieve. Ryan was superb today, the flying Welshman finished the race in a great way and we have to think about the points now. I think we’re in good stead now for Zandvoort, let’s see where we’re at by Donington”.
I cannot thank Rick and the Optimum Motorsport team enough for all their hard work throughout the season. I am looking forward to Zandvoort, as I tested there at the start of the year and loved it.
Thanks to all my sponsors for their support this season. Groundhog UK Ltd, GenQuip, ET Fashions, David Mason Watches and Trion:z.