Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport enjoyed a strong finish to this year’s GT Cup Championship campaign (October 8/9) with two podiums and the Team of the Weekend award after a tough Saturday led to a comeback Sunday.
After a handful of test sessions on Friday driver Tim Creswick declared himself happy with the pace and performance of the car, opting to compete solo for the whole weekend. He was confident going into qualifying and produced a strong series of laps, finishing second quickest in the GTH class in his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
The opening 25-minute race was a chaotic one as a GT3 car speared across the track in front of Tim, who took heavy contact to the rear of his Porsche from a class rival. That incident then meant a car dropped fluid over a big section of the track, and a lap later Tim spun while avoiding a car which was out of control in front of him. With the Safety Car then called to help clear up both the fluid and several cars which had gone off, Tim restarted well and closed in on the pack ahead.
While battling for the podium places, he took side contact at high speed from a McLaren into turn one and then had a heavy impact from a Mercedes which out braked itself into Agostini, damaging the car and caused its retirement from the contest. That then had the knock-on effect of meaning Tim wasn’t in a position to compete in the pit stop race that afternoon.
Bouncing back in style on Sunday morning, Tim was back on the pace, going quickest in Group GTH in practice and following up with a strong time in qualifying, ending up third fastest for the opening race of the day. Getting another good start, he ran second in class for much of the contest before slipping back to third when he lost momentum out of the last corner but claiming a well-earned podium finish.
Lining up third for the final race of the season, Tim drove well for the first half of the 50 minute pit-stop race, keeping in touch with the leading trio, knowing that he would enjoy a shorter stop than his rivals, who would hand over to a Pro Sport driver. Emerging from the mandatory stop in the lead of GTH, it took a few laps for him to be fully comfortable with fresh tyres, which helped one car get ahead. Once he settled in, he quickly caught the McLaren in front but despite getting as close as 0.5s to it, he couldn’t quite find a way past, taking a second podium of the day.
There was further celebration at the podium as well, as the Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport crew were named Team of the Weekend after their hard work in repairing the damage caused during race one, a fine way to cap a year of GT Cup action. The team is already working on exciting plans for the 2023 season which will be announced in due course.
Tim Creswick, Driver, #86
“I’m always pushing myself so despite P2 and P3 finishes, there was more on the table, so things to work for which means I’m a little bit frustrated. I made a couple of mistakes on Sunday: for example, both starts were just messy, as is always the case in GT Cup. I made some pretty good decisions, but I think having been a touch more aggressive, I might have kept a place or two. Otherwise, I think I was one of only two drivers in the final race that double stinted the whole thing, so it feels good to do the full 50 minutes and come out more or less on top, only a second off the lead. I’m quite happy with that.
“Through the year I’ve got in a bit more of a groove with the car. It’s nice, I’m jumping in the car and I’m very calm, none of it is very stressful. I had a few quite exciting moments out there and even then, it was just like, ‘Yeah, okay, carry on.’ I think that stuff is the probably the biggest part. The driving has come a long way and being able to be really calm the whole time and just deal with it is quite good, and that’s quite rewarding.
“It was cool for everyone to get Team of the Weekend. They’ve done a great job after that big hit in the rear which did a lot more damage than we realised. They did a really amazing job of getting everything buttoned up and ready to go again and to be fair, the car’s been flawless today, despite having quite a lot of parts thrown at it. It’s easy to take that for granted but they’ve done a great job.”
Chris Dymond, Driver Coach
“Tim’s progress this last half of the year has been quite meteoric, and the penny has dropped for him. We saw it at Donington last time out where he was fighting for the podium and it’s really nice to come back on Sunday, after Saturday’s disappointment, to consolidate what we did and show what we’re able to do.
“It’s really nice to be in a position in year one of this project for Tim to be frustrated coming back with a second place. We’ll take it and now we can look forward to next year, whatever that may be.”
Declan Robe, Team Manager
“In terms of Tim and his actual performance he’s shown how much he has improved over the year. When you look back at where we were at Snetterton earlier in the year he’s come on so much and his improvement and ability in the car is really good. He qualified well, he was on it really well, everything was just a level above, on his part, everything was good.
“We didn’t quite get the win but, it was a really good effort from everyone involved. Tim showed consistency in the car, and to be honest, he’s been consistent all weekend since we arrived on Friday for testing. We can’t complain, it was a really good weekend for the team, and they worked really hard after the damage that we sustained in the first race, so it was a nice reward to get Team of the Weekend.”