Rick Parfitt Jnr and team mate Seb Morris took the Daytona-backed Bentley GT3 car to Spa with the sole intention of closing the gap to the leaders in the championship. Seb had previously topped the official Blancpain Euro series test so all eyes are were on him and by contrast Rick had never driven the Bentley around Spa and so was looking to get up to speed quickly in the two 1 hour practise sessions.
This in turn didn’t go to plan as a huge crash involving the TF sport Aston Martin and the sister Bentley of Ian Loggie crashed heavily on oil from a detonated Maserati engine causing the first session to be cancelled. Rick then had a handful of laps in the second session where substantial set-up changes were made.
Qualifying saw Rick have a tough session still learning the car however he managed 7th fastest and was only 9/10ths of a second off pole. Seb timed his lap to perfection and ended up 9/10ths quickest, and with rain hitting the top of the circuit following his lap there was no threat of it being bettered allowing the Team Parker Bentley to take its 4th pole position of 2016.
Rick started the race from pole and on turn one was hit heavily from behind by an over zealous Liam Griffin in his Lamborghini who had misjudged his braking. This damaged the Bentleys rear bumper and pushed it into the 2nd place Mclaren, who later retired following the contact. Griffin was handed a drive-through penalty and Rick recovered to rejoin in 3rd place.
The Blancpain series Black Falcon Mercedes of Hunter Abbott found a way past Rick whilst he was trying to negotiate the back marker GT4 cars so Rick handed over to Seb in 4th place. Team Parker performed a quick pit stop which meant they kept 4th and he set about chasing down the leaders. He quickly dispatched the Grasser Lamborghini and then was on the tail of Jon Barnes in the leading Aston Martin. Despite reeling him in Seb was unable to make a pass stick and despite a hugely thrilling last few laps the #31 Bentley had to settle for second position by a mere 0.6 of a second.
Rick and Seb are now just two points shy of second place in the championship and only 10.5 point off the lead. The title fight look like it will go down to the wire!
Next up is Snetterton – Good Luck Guys!
Pictures courtesy of Gary at Xynamic