Caffeine Six by Parr Motorsport had a weekend of two halves as the GT Cup Championship headed to Silverstone for rounds 15, 16, 17, and 18 of the 2022 season.
Tim Creswick performed well behind the wheel of the team’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport across both days, supported by Pro colleague and driver coach Chris Dymond, but was forced into retirement twice on Sunday due to damage from other cars.
The first of four planned races across the weekend featured more time behind the Safety Car than under green, as several cars needed to be cleared after lap one incidents. Racing finally resumed with just under eight minutes left to run as Tim was sixth in the GTH class and he did well to fend off the attentions of Darren Kell behind. He would slip back one position as a recovering McLaren snuck past but crossed the line in a solid seventh position.
Starting seventh for the pit stop race, Tim held his own in the early laps before dropping back to tenth position as the pit window approached. After the stop, Chris emerged from the pits eighth in GTH, but with the tyres not quite living up to the full race distance and overheating, he lost pace at the end and was caught and passed in the final few minutes, finishing tenth at the flag.
In the hour prior to the sprint race on Sunday, rain fell which made the decision as to which tyres to run a tough one, with the track drying but rain coming back in at the southern end of the track. Tim started on slicks as the race started behind the Safety Car to give the field the chance to properly explore the conditions, but sadly, his race only lasted to the first corner as he retired with damage after contact from a Ginetta.
Fired up and starting from the back of the grid for the final race of the weekend, owing to the earlier retirement, Tim planned to race solo, maximising his track time, and meaning he would serve 15 seconds fewer on his pit stop. He had an excellent first lap, making up six positions, and added another on the second tour, running tenth in GTH.
Sadly, on the fourth lap, he took heavy contact from behind as a GTH rival missed their braking point into Brooklands, causing substantial damage to the left rear of the Porsche and making it two disappointing retirements in the same day, though the driver of that car was sporting enough to apologise to Tim for his error.
The team, Tim, and Chris will now take a break across August before returning to GT Cup action at Donington Park over the weekend of September 17/18.
Tim Creswick, Am
“I think it’s a real shame. We’ve been complaining a little bit about the balance of performance on some of the other cars and the rain is a real equaliser, so I was really looking forward to the sprint race on Sunday. Going out and doing the green flag laps there was plenty of grip out there and we were one of the few cars on slick tyres and one of the other GTH cars on slicks ended up on the podium. It’s disappointing to lose it in turn one with a totally unavoidable incident, late in the corner as well which just makes it even more stupid, and it was a really big hit.
“That was super frustrating because I think we were going to have a really good race. I think I would have been driving around everyone pretty fast. It was down to second gear into turn one and all the cars, even those on wets were tentative going in there and you’re like, ‘there’s no way we need to be this slow.’ That was a third gear corner on slicks all day long, which I think told you all you need to know. We could have probably passed a heap of cars on the first lap, and it would have been a great race.
“I got out of the car after a handful of minutes with an excess of adrenaline and had to work through that. You get yourself ready for 25 minutes of full focus and to knock it on the head is quite difficult. You have to find an outlet for that and try to have the mental attitude to come back to the second race, and of course the added frustration is then we’re the last car on the grid because we didn’t post a lap time in race one.
“We had a really good start to the final race, a good first lap and passed a lot of cars. Four laps in, a car I passed half a lap earlier, out braked himself. By his own admission he was looking in the mirror as he was defending, but he would have gone very long and probably ended up in the gravel. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. got battered, and it’s absolutely trashed the rear left quarter of the car and ended our race early. It’s just frustrating.
“I knew I had to get a lot done in those opening laps to make sure I didn’t get stuck in traffic, and everything that should be slower than me I passed within the first four laps. Then it was on to hunt down the guys that we should be racing with. The plan was to do the whole race again, having had a really light morning thanks to the first race. I felt like I had the energy, so it’s just a very, very frustrating weekend.”
Chris Dymond, Pro
“I think we had a magnet in our car this weekend. We had a decent Friday, and we had a good Saturday but the incidents on Sunday have been a right pain. We were a bit hamstrung on Saturday with some overheating tyres and not changing them for my stint in the second race, but the pace was there. We need to measure ourselves against the other Cayman and we know our lap was quicker, so that’s good, but it’s just been one of those weekends.
“Tim did so well. All the race starts have been brilliant and he put himself in the right place, but it was unfortunate in the sprint race where I think we probably could have got a podium in the mixed conditions. He gained six positions at the start of the pit stop race and was looking strong. At least the other driver has apologised and these things happen.”
Declan Robe, Team Manager
“It was a tricky weekend. Tim continually improved, the team worked hard, everyone made the right decisions in the races, with the tyre selection, and Tim’s qualifying is getting better. It’s just unfortunate that didn’t get the rub of the green. In the first race on Sunday, he got hit by another car which wasn’t their fault apparently, but it’s just one of those things. We’re looking at the positives, we didn’t do anything wrong, and Tim didn’t do anything wrong either. He’s just been hit with the full force of motorsport. We will get the car back, get it prepped for Donington, and work to keep improving both ourselves and Tim.”