Rick Parfitt Junior and teammate Ryan Ratcliffe gave Team LNT their second top four finish in British GT last weekend, as the pairing stormed from thirteenth on the grid to within an inch of a podium, with Parfitt Jnr awarded the Blancpain Driver Of The Weekend accolade.
Parfitt Jnr’s regular teammate Tom Oliphant committed to his Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup campaign at in Scotland, so he was once again joined behind the wheel by his friend Ratcliffe, with whom he secured the British GT4 title in 2013.
With Snetterton hosting two races, Parfitt started the opening encounter from eighth on the grid. Sticking with the leading pack, Parfitt handed the Ginetta G55 GT3 car over to Ratcliffe in seventh place. Unfortunately for the #44 car, debris picked up from the circuit dislodged a power steering belt and forced it into an early retirement. Robbing them of a near-certain result.
Race two was a very different story. With Ratcliffe starting the second encounter from thirteenth on the grid, the Welsh youngster scythed through the pack, ending the opening lap in seventh position where he remained until the pit stop.
With 25 minutes left on the clock, Parfitt was lapping consistently quicker than those ahead and soon found himself in fourth place. The final place on the podium then came down to a scrap between Rick and rival Mark Farmer with just 15 minutes left to run.
Fifteen minutes before the end and only one other competitor was lapping anywhere near the pace of the Ginetta G55 GT3 car. With a spin for Farmer, Parfitt nipped through to claim the final podium position.
The team’s elation was soon followed by bitter disappointment, as the race was red flagged before Parfitt could complete his lap, meaning the car was classified fourth owing to results being taken from the previous lap. Parfitt Jnr’s performance didn’t go unnoticed though, his wet weather display earning him the Blancpain Gentleman Driver of the Weekend Award.
Parfitt said;“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 thirteenth to fourth in the most competitive domestic GT series in the world is outstanding.
“To also be awarded the coveted Blancpain Gentleman Driver of the Weekend 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."