Stunning drive nets Parfitt best result of the year and ‘Blancpain Driver Of The Weekend’ Award
Posted on 28th August 2015
As the sun beamed down on a sweltering Snetterton circuit Team LNT were under no illusions that they would be faced with a tough weekend. Rick was joined in the car by Ryan Ratcliffe a familiar face as they had previously won the 2013 GT4 title together.
Whilst The Ginetta G55 GT3 has proven its metal in the handling stakes it was always going to struggle a little against the raw power of the Aston Martin GT3’s at this circuit; this became apparent in qualifying where Rick managed a lap of 1:51.101 putting him 8th on the grid, and Ryan faced with a huge task of familiarising himself with a car that he had barely driven did a sterling job in the pro session to line up 13th for race 2.
The aim for the weekend was to score points and with that in mind Rick set about chasing down the pack but on a circuit notoriously difficult for overtaking he managed to stay with the leading pack and handed the car over to Ryan in 7th position, Ryan then went out and did a doggedly maintained the position until low oil pressure meant he had to pull off circuit to save any major engine damage, a disappointing end to a race with such potential.
With the car fixed for Race two the heavens opened, and whilst most drivers would view this ominously for Team LNT it was a chance to shine as they knew that the rain would neaget the power advantage of the other cars and would effectively ‘level the field’.
This was evident as Ryan scythed through the pack, swiftly dispatching Jody Fannin and Lewis Plato on turn one and then Alexander Sims, Rory Butcher, on turn two and even with a recovering Alexander Sims driving into the side of him he kept his foot down and emerged in 7th place after lap one!…a stunning first lap from 13th on the grid!…he expertly maintained this position against some of the best professional drivers in the UK to hand over the car to to Rick in 7th position on the 35 minute mark,
Parfitt then took centre stage in the now torrential downpour, with the conditions worsening Rick was in a class of his own.
Five seconds a lap faster than both Mowle and Johnston ahead, the 2013 GT4 champ was exercising kart-like control where others were starting to think twice. This paid dividends, consistently lapping between 5 and 10 seconds quicker than the race leader and catching and disposing of the Triple Eight BMW Z4 GT3 of Lee Mowle and the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Derek Johnston to go fourth, a truly remarkable fightback.
The race was then on for 3rd and with Parfitt now piling on the pressure in the dying laps Mark Farmer in the 22GT racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 spun off and Parfitt stole the last podium position to the joy of the Team LNT Pit garage, who could be heard cheering all the way down the pit lane!
Sadly that joy was not to last as the red flag emerged shortly after meaning that the result would stand from the previous lap, placing Parfitt and Ratcliffe in 4th Position.
Ricks wet weather heroics didn’t go unnoticed however with the organisers inviting him on to the podium and awarding him the ‘Blancpain Driver Of The Weekend’ accolade.
” What a weekend!…after a very hectic season, it’s finally great to have scored some decent points! It is a shame that we were denied our first GT3 podium, but to race from P14 to P4…in the most competitive domestic GT series in the world is outstanding. To also be awarded the coveted Blancpain award against some of the best drivers in the UK is something I shall always remember too and just tops off a great weekend. I would like to thank my amazing Sponsors for always sticking by me, hopefully this result goes someway to repay their faith in me, Ginetta Cars for giving us a great car in the wet and finally my team mate for the weekend Ryan who hadn’t even sat in the car before last Thursday…and did such an amazing job adapting, proving his raw talent, racing hard and totally justifying his BRDC Rising Star status.”