Team SMR


29 May 2017





•    Team Parker drivers just miss out on second podium of season
•    Best of P4 for Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr at Snetterton 300
•    Morris pleased to emerge from tough event with consistent points

Seb Morris declared himself satisfied with two hard-fought points finishes during rounds four and five of the British GT Championship at Snetterton on Sunday, 28th May, after a challenging visit to the Norfolk track delivered a best result of fourth position.

Ahead of the third race meeting of the campaign, the BRDC Superstar and MSA Team UK racer said consistent points scoring would be the chief objective and despite some dramas along the way he and team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr delivered to end the weekend still second in the championship.

Qualifying exceeded all expectations for the duo with Snetterton not a favoured track for the Bentley Continental GT3. Parfitt Jnr lapped third fastest in the ‘Am’ session for the round four grid, while Welshman Morris was the fourth quickest of the Pro drivers in the round five session.

Racing to fourth place in the opening one-hour contest, a luckless 30 second time penalty applied post-race dropped the team-mates back to seventh in the final classification – the mid-race driver change pit-stop deemed to have been completed a miniscule 0.1 seconds too fast.

Aiming to make amends in race two, unfortunate contact off the start between the Bentley and a Ferrari, as the lead contenders jostled for position, resulted in a drive-through penalty for Morris. Even so, an inspired early driver change, mated to a little bit of good fortune with a Safety Car period soon after, delivered fourth spot for the Team Parker drivers just 0.2 seconds shy of the podium.

“The drive-through penalty was unfortunate, I didn’t see Matt [Griffin] was there and it was just one of those racing incidents”, reflected Morris, “We made a good call with the early [driver change] pit-stop, when the Safety Car came out it worked in our favour and Rick did a good job to bring the car home in fourth. We might have been able to take a podium, but fourth is fine from this weekend.

“Obviously race one was unfortunate too with the time penalty from the pit-stop but to finish fourth on the road in both races, I’m happy with that. We’ve lost a few points this weekend but that seems to be how it goes for us in the one hour races this year, now we’re heading to Silverstone for a longer race in a couple of weeks and I’m confident we’ll be strong there.”

Parfitt Jnr started race one from third on the grid and he maintained the placing to the driver change at the halfway point. Morris climbed into the Bentley and with the additional 10 seconds he had to stay in his pit box, the ‘success’ penalty from winning round three at Rockingham, he emerged onto the track in fourth position.

Doing everything he could to stay in touch with the Lamborghinis ahead, Morris closed to within 1.8 seconds of the podium with 15 minutes to go but had to settle for fourth at the flag, which later became seventh with the application of the 30 second time penalty.

For race two, Morris lined-up in fourth place and made a good initial launch. Moving from the left side of the track to try and clear the Lamborghini immediately ahead, as the Bentley edged to the right unfortunate contact with the No.21 Ferrari delayed both and led to Morris slipping back to eighth through the first couple of turns as a result of the lost momentum.

Serving the ensuing drive-through penalty at the end of lap eight, Morris emerged back onto the track in ninth and climbed into seventh before handing the car over to Parfitt Jnr. Just a few moments later the Safety Car was required and the subsequent bunching of the pack aided the quest to mount an unlikely podium bid.

Running in fifth with just four minutes to run, Jon Minshaw’s leading Lamborghini then had to serve a drive-through penalty so Parfitt Jnr moved into fourth and made several attempts at trying to wrestle third away from Mark Farmer’s Aston Martin. In the end, he was just 0.2 seconds shy.

There are now only two weeks to wait until round six of the British GT season which will take place over the weekend 10th/11th June at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.

2017 British GT Championship Driver Standings   
2nd Seb Morris & Rick Parfitt Jnr, 77.5pts

2017 British GT Championship Pro-Am Standings
2nd Seb Morris & Rick Parfitt Jnr, 79.5pts