Parker Chase impresses on International Racing Debut

Parker Chase impresses on International Racing Debut

20.04.2017: Texas driver Parker Chase made his international racing debut at Oulton Park in the West of England last weekend in the Century

Texas driver Parker Chase made his international racing debut at Oulton Park in the West of England last weekend in the Century Motorsport run Ginetta G55 GT3.

Having only tested his new mount for 2017 on two previous occasions in the run up to event, Chase was faced with a tough mountain to climb as he joined one of Europe’s strongest GT Championships – The British GT Championship run by the SRO Motorsport Group.

Racing with Parker in 2017 will be former European Le Mans Series LMP3 Champion Charlie Robertson. The young British star will be valuable asset this season to aid Chase’s transition to racing abroad.

Unlike many of the other rounds, Parker and his team had the chance to test on Friday afternoon, which afforded some valuable time to acclimatise to the unique characteristics of the tight and fast British Circuit. Completing almost 40 laps over the two wet afternoon sessions, Parker’s times were quickly starting to put him firmly in the mix with his fellow GT3 rivals.

Saturday morning provided two further opportunities to settle into his new surrounding, with a pair of Free Practice sessions getting the days action under way. However unlike the previous day, the Century Motorsport-run Ginetta G55 GT3 had been adjusted to fall into line with the updated Balance of Performance specifications which hindered there progress.

Nevertheless, Chase and Robertson worked through their programme, and by the time qualifying came on Saturday afternoon, a solid run in the first session would see Parker place his car eighth on the grid for Monday’s race one, while Robertson would set a slightly faster time to start from seventh for race two.

Happy with the pace they had enjoyed in the wet, both drivers were hoping for rain on Monday and that’s exactly what they got. Making the most of the morning's ten minute warm-up to prepare for the day's racing, Parker and Charlie set an impressive fourth fastest time in the wet conditions that looked set to remain for the day.

Enthused by their wet weather pace, Parker took to the grid for the start of race one just after 11 on Monday morning. With visibility at a minimum for the start, Parked opted to play it safe at the start and go for the long game, picking his place carefully at the start of his first British GT race.

 Slipping back to ninth, Chase put in a solid run during his race debut before coming into the pits on lap 17 at the end of his stint. Hoping to send Charlie Robertson out to complete the race, it wasn’t long before the British driver was back in the pits, sighting engine issues that would end their race.

The experienced Century team quickly identified the problem, but unfortunately the fix required a complete engine change. Charging into the mammoth task, by the time race two started just after 3pm, they had run out of time forcing Chase and Robertson to miss their second bite at the cherry.

Parker Chase - #19 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3:

“We started our weekend pretty strong, obviously we lacked a little bit of speed with the BOP, but we had good pace planned for the wet. I felt good going into race one and it started pretty well.

I had a bit of a spin and then we had the issue with the engine so we ended up missing race two. But overall it's been a pretty productive weekend so now I'm ready to move onto Rockingham where we will be back in even better shape.”

Charlie Robertson - #19 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3:

“It's been a big learning curve for everyone this weekend with the newly improved Ginetta GT3 and the team's first weekend running the car. We've obviously had some ups and downs over the weekend, but we had some good pace in the wet especially and in the dry we have some things to work on.

 Everyone did a great job in terms of effort and hard work, so I couldn't fault that. The races were unfortunate but I know that we will come back stronger at Rockingham in two weeks.”

Next Round:

Rockingham Motor Speedway, Corby, Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th April 2017.


Paul Grogan, photos  Jakob Ebrey


20.04.2017 / MaP

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