> 911 GT3 R set for full-season campaign
Team Parker Racing has switched to Porsche for the upcoming Intelligent Money British GT Championship campaign and also confirmed that Nick Jones and Scott Malvern will remain with the squad for a sixth season.
The Pro-Am duo won overall at Donington Park last year on just their fourth senior class start following four seasons in GT4. Team Parker’s move from Bentley also sees the crew reunited with Porsche for the first time since 2017 when they drove a Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR also prepared by TPR.
The latest 991.2-spec 911 GT3 R made its customer debut in 2019 – the same year that G-Cat Racing campaigned one at several British GT rounds – but this will be the first full-season effort for the car, which won the Total 24 Hours of Spa in 2019 and ’20.
The move also ensures Team Parker is now uniquely involved at every level of the German manufacturer’s UK motorsport ‘pyramid’, which features the British GT-supporting, Cayman-based Sprint Challenge GB and Porsche Carrera Cup GB. The latter category’s 911s are also eligible for British GT’s GTC class – a category TPR won with Porsche at last year’s Silverstone 500.
2021 will be Malvern and Jones’ eighth year together in all levels of motorsport, and the latter hopes their relationship – as well as that with Team Parker – will help them to hit the ground running with the Porsche.
“I am really, really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel,” he said. “I have always liked the brand, so I am excited to jump into the 911 GT3 R and see where we end up. It’s a completely different car to what I have been driving but hopefully it will be inspiring to drive so I don’t mind where we race!
“The best thing about racing with Scott and Team Parker Racing is that we have the relationship and the teamwork, so it is important to carry that through. I am sure Scott will have his work cut out with me being another year older. It will be great to meet up with everyone again and carry on that spirit of racing with your mates. It will be a fun year, so let’s go and enjoy ourselves.”
Malvern – the only driver to deny Phil Keen a GT3 fastest lap last season – is also excited by the 911’s potential.
“I can’t wait, and I am excited to be back in GT3 again,” he said. “With the new rules, excluding Silver/Silver line ups it is anyone’s game now, so we have a really good chance, especially with this new car which is proven and has won lots of races both last year and this. I am pleased for the team too as they have a great reputation with Porsche and did really well last year with the Cup cars.
“The GT3 R is a proven product and even reading the manual at the moment it looks like a professional, finished product, and I have no doubt it will live up to expectation. Both Team Parker Racing and Nick have done well to even get hold of this car because they just aren’t available, and I think it will be the perfect car for British GT if you look at the weather we had last year, and the sort of circuits we race on.”
Team principal Stuart Parker added: “It is fantastic to announce our plans for the 2021 British GT Championship as we begin a new era with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Everyone at the team is delighted to take this step with Porsche after our long-term success with the manufacturer over almost 20 years and we couldn’t think of a better line up than Nick and Scott to drive the car, after five years together.
“We now offer drivers the opportunity to compete at three levels of the Porsche motorsport pyramid, so they can join us in the Sprint Challenge GB and work their way through the Carrera Cup GB and into GT3. We cannot wait to get out on track with the GT3 R and put it through its paces as we prepare to open the season.”
Brands Hatch hosts the opening round of this season’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship on May 22/23.
Images: Michael Hall Photography