Reigning British GT champion Rick Parfitt has said he’s targeting top five finishes this season as he looks to ‘find the speed again’ in the face of an even more competitive GT3 class.
With championship winning team-mate Seb Morris moving to the Blancpain GT Series, Parfitt will be joined this season in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 by Ryan Ratcliffe reuniting a partnership that secured the GT4 title in 2013. Because of that, Parfitt has admitted that it will take the partnership time to get properly up to speed.
“We’ve got a two year plan,” Parfitt explained. “It’s a building year this year really, technically Ryan and myself are both gentlemen drivers because we’re the only line-up in GT3 where both of us bring money to the team.
“For me personally, I’m just finding speed again and Ryan is coming on leaps and bounds as he gets more comfortable with the car.”
Parfitt’s target this season is to claim top five finishes, with his belief that with a new engineer to work with, consistently scoring points will benefit them over the course of a season which is expected to be action-packed.
He also said he was benefitting from the extensive testing programme his team-mates went through: “Callum [Macleod] and Ian [Loggie] are ones to watch this year, they’ve been testing since the end of last year and are proving to be really quick. It’s been great working with them and we’ve all been helping each other out as well.”
For Parfitt this weekend, he’s having to fight through the pain barrier as a flare-up of his Crohn’s disease leading up to the first round of the year at Oulton Park forced him to miss testing on Friday, and it was only because of his wife’s selfless act that he’s competing.
“I was struggling with the pain yesterday, last night I was buckled over in pain. I talked to Professor Jeremy Sanderson – who is helping me with treatment – and he said to take more medication. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough with me to take more so Rachel drove up 100 miles in the dark and the heavy rain to bring me some more,” he explained.
“Thankfully I’m not in much pain now so I should be alright for the races.”