Nov 7, 2022

Parr Motorsport enjoys promising year on racing return with Porsche

Parr Motorsport made a welcome return to front-line motorsport during 2022 as it fielded a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for amateur racer Tim Creswick and his driver coach Chris Dymond.

Competing under the banner of Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport, Tim and the team were set to open the GT Cup Championship campaign at Donington Park in April, before a nasty incident in testing meant withdrawing from the meeting.

The team finally began its season at Brands Hatch at the end of the month as the series raced in support of the prestigious GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup, taking part in every round thereafter as well as making two appearances in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, a one-make series for the Cayman, at the opening and closing rounds of the season.

Looking back on the season, Team Manager Declan Robe explains why he is full of praise for Tim because of how much he worked to improve himself. “He has done really well when you look at where he was at the beginning of the year,” he says. “One of the biggest indicators is that we did the first and last rounds of the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, and you can see he’s on the pace, his ability to drive the car on cold tyres has come on, and he’s developed as a driver.

“Similarly, if you look at GT Cup, at the last two rounds his pace was really, really good. It’s all down to the hard work and effort of everybody and takes a little bit of time to click, but once it clicks you can see the results. He was on it in qualifying and then in the races, which he did on his own to get a bit more time in the car, the pace compared to cars with Pro drivers in was spot on. Everything comes together and it takes time, but we’ve done a lot of work with him this year, and he’s had a lot of time behind the wheel, which is what you need.

“There have been ups and downs, but there are in every season. He stuck with it and that’s the best thing you can do. Sometimes it’s a bit of a grind, and you’ve just got to grit your teeth and crack on with it. Everyone has done really well, the team have worked really, really hard and the car has been good, so it’s been a really enjoyable year working with Tim. He’s a reasonable, down to earth person, and it’s a pleasure working with him. I think it’s been a great year.”

It wasn’t plain sailing throughout the season however, as the learning curve meant being able to take disappointment as well as enjoy the successes, as Tim explains. “We took tons and tons of damage in GT Cup, and I think a lot of it was preventable, so it was really frustrating from that point of view,” he says. “It was a pretty good season overall and I think by the end, we figured out how to get everything working. The last two meetings we had podium finishes in most of the races, which was nice.

“I was watching one of my videos the other day from the Brands Hatch wet race, and it was pretty good, but looking back at it now, I would drive it quite differently. There are a lot more things I would notice, moves I would make, showing a bit more positivity in what I was doing, so it shows there’s been good progression. I’ve been going through my highlights, and I’ve had some good overtakes this year where I really worked the strategy in a few places, and it’s nice to see that race craft has come along really well.

“The main thing for me is making sure that the learning curve is still upwards. Throughout the season I’ve managed to keep the same steepness on the curve, so I’m feeling pretty good about that and I’m very happy with how it’s gone in terms of personal improvement. Most weekends have had one or two good positive moments, like a good pass or something that I’ve managed to make stick, or even just the consistency, particularly the last two endurance races at Donington Park.

“Finishing four tenths down on Will Dendy [who was first place in the GT Cup GTH class], that’s a really nice place to be. Being able to drive at the limit for 50 minutes is something that’s easy to take for granted at this point, but if you’d said that to me a year ago, I would have been like, ‘wow that’s quite a lot.’ It wasn’t just luck; I’ve been able to consistently put in hour long races with no mistakes.”

As he alluded to there, one of the big achievements of the team and Tim has been working up to a point where he could race for almost an hour without needing to switch over to Chris, who instead could focus on relaying important information over the radio. “Tim’s progress this last half of the year has been quite meteoric,” says Chris. “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.”

A good benchmark for Tim and the team were the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB contests at Silverstone in May and at Donington Park in October, as it showed his progression behind the wheel. In the former, the car was a couple of seconds a lap off the Am class leader and slowest Pro class competitors, while in the latter he lapped quicker than the Am champion in the opening contest.

“It was nice to come back to a one-make series and see that we’re competitive, the car is competitive, and the package is competitive,” says Tim. “It’s nice to see that progression. With GT Cup, you never quite know how competitive we were, as we were the only Cayman running [a rival team competed with the RS variant], so you can make some inferences, but it’s nice to see that it’s a competitive package and the lap times was knocking on the doors of the Pros.”

Looking ahead, what might Tim and Parr Motorsport be considering for their next step? Having acquired a Porsche 911 GT3 R, recent tests have given optimism for making the next big step forwards. “I’ve had about two hours in the GT3 R on a test day and it probably took about 40 minutes for the penny to drop in terms of how to use the aero and the pace that’s available,” says Tim. “The idea was to benchmark against Chris [Dymond] as we know around Snetterton I’m under a second off his lap times in the GT4, so our thinking was ‘what does the delta look like in that car?’

“By the end of the day, I got it under a second, so it’s not actually as big of a step as you might imagine. It’s a different car to drive, but a lot of fun. It felt like even within a couple of hours I was able to get to a point where I could really have the car moving around and really work it. It wasn’t intimidating, it was just good fun to drive. We’ve got a lot to work out, but in principle it should be good fun, if we can get the GT3 out.”

Those thoughts are echoed by Declan as well. “Hopefully in 2023 we can get out and do some cool stuff that we’ve got in the pipeline and progress up another rung on the ladder,” he says. “Tim has tested with the GT3 R, so he’s more than capable of driving it and more than competent enough to be competitive as well. It’ll be really exciting if we can we get there and see where it goes.”

The team will confirm its 2023 plans in due course, but whatever happens next season it has been an excellent year in the GT Cup and Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, where Tim has come on from co-driving with his coach to competing solo without missing a step and consistently lapping closer to the ultimate pace. If he can continue that progress, who knows where he and Parr Motorsport might end up…