Sep 20, 2022

Creswick’s speed rewarded with Donington Park podium finish

Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport enjoyed two trips to the podium at Donington Park last weekend (September 17/18) as Tim Creswick continued to demonstrate his development behind the wheel of his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Having qualified fourth for Saturday’s Sprint Race, Tim was optimistic for a good result. Due to a somewhat bizarre incident, where a GT3 McLaren suffered brake issues, three other car collided nose-to-tail on the warm-up lap, with the ensuing stoppage reducing the race length down to just 15-minutes. Keeping his nerve despite the pre-race hold up, Tim drove well to finish third in the GTH class for GT4 machinery.

Starting that afternoon’s Pit Stop Race from third in class, Tim kept his nose clean during the opening 25 minutes, gaining a place on the opening lap and keeping pace with the GTH leader. The Safety Car was scrambled mid-race, after a GT3 car went off, and the team took the opportunity to pit. Gaining track position, Tim took the lead on the 23rd of 30 laps but had Pro and McLaren factory driver Euan Hankey breathing down his neck. Hankey passed on the run up to Coppice the next lap and sadly, with his tyres giving up, Tim had to nurse the car to the flag, giving up three further places to finish fifth.

Sunday’s sessions ran under overcast clouds with rain disrupting the second half of the Sprint Race. After a good qualifying session Tim lined up second on the GTH grid and maintained position for the opening laps until drizzle started to fall. The slippery track caught several cars out, with many spinning off as drivers misjudged the conditions. Sadly, Tim was be tapped into a spin by a rival, dropping him down the order to finish in fifth position once again.

Getting another good start to the Pit Stop Race, Tim held second on the opening laps until Tehmur Chohan managed to get past, though from them on he was able to match his rival’s pace, with the gap never larger than one second. Opting to pit on lap 15 Tim was able to gain track position and, when the other stops had taken place, emerged in the lead of the class, with a four second advantage.

He held the lead until four laps from the end when Will Dendy, who had fitted fresh tyres during the pit stops, started to challenge. With his tyres fading, Tim ran wide exiting the Melbourne Hairpin and momentarily lost traction, ultimately finishing second, just 0.4s behind what could have been a maiden victory.

Despite the disappointment, Tim can be happy with his performance over the weekend though, with improvements in pace and consistency shown throughout. With two more trophies to show for it he and the Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport team will now have three weeks to prepare for the final races of the GT Cup season at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend of October 8/9.

Tim Creswick

G1 – 4, R1 – 3
G2 – 3, R2 – 5
G3 – 2, R3 – 5
G4 – 3, R4 – 2

“We had a good qualifying; it was a personal best time for me and P4 on the grid for the start of the Sprint Race. It was a bit of a mess at the start with some of the GT3 cars having a pile up on the green flag lap, so that meant the race was shortened to 15 minutes. Ultimately, we finished P3 as we didn’t have time to do much, but my fastest lap time meant I was also P3 for the for the Pit Stop Race.

“My start went much better for that one. I worked my way through and managed the traffic well before we made the call to pit stop under the Safety Car. I had a 25 second gap to the to the third placed car behind at that point so it was looking great. The pit stops just deleted all that advantage and then a lot of those cars took new tyres, and they had their Pro drivers in as well. I was running P1, but I was struggling for grip on the used tyres and was having to brake early and softly to really carry the speed through the corner. Unfortunately, that just invites people to stick it up the inside, so a couple of McLarens took two positions. Ultimately, I finished P5 which was a bit of a shame, but I just couldn’t hold it off.

“Sunday qualifying was good, and the car felt car felt amazing. We wound up with P2, which was only 0.1s off P1, so that put me on the front row of the GTH grid. I had a pretty good start to the Sprint Race; we got a bit of contact from behind going down the Craner Curves but managed to hold onto P2. I had a stable race until we started to get some rain, which is usually good for me. That variable bit, that transition, is normally where I can make a bit of a gap, but we had whole sectors that were under yellow flags, which just made it really confusing as to who could pass where, and then I got hit in the back through the chicane which spun me off. I ended up finishing P5, just tiptoeing around at the end. I’m quite pleased with the running though, the laps were really consistent.

“The final race was a good one. I kept it clean for and the Valluga car needed to be quite a bit quicker because they got a Pro Sporting ten second pitstop penalty. That meant that I was P2 into pitstops and could gap the traffic behind me. I was running P1 for most of the second half of the race, defending from the McLaren that took fresh tyres at the pitstop and we didn’t. Will Dendy was doing a really nice job and he closed in on me and I think I probably could have defended it the last few laps, but I was just trying to eke everything I could out of the car. I ran a tiny bit wide at the first hairpin, dipped a wheel on the grass, and didn’t get the drive, so he was able to pass me. I think I could have finished in P1, but I’m happy with that and it was a consistent drive.”