Team Parker Racing is aiming to maintain its presence in European GT3 competition this year following its recent purchase of a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Last week the former Bentley squad announced an Intelligent Money British GT Championship entry with the new Porsche machine for Nick Jones and Scott Malvern.
Team principal Stuart Parker told Sportscar365 that the 2017 British GT title-winning outfit is geared up to continue racing in Europe this year but has not locked in a particular program.
Last season Team Parker Racing entered a Bentley Continental GT3 in the Silver Cup class of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup for Bentley Academy drivers Frank Bird, Nicolai Kjaergaard and Euan McKay.
The team contested its final race with Bentley at the Gulf 12 Hours in January and announced the end of its spell with the British manufacturer shortly after that event.
“At the moment we’ve got one GT3 R,” said Parker. “We’re obviously committed to British GT, which is Nick and Scott. And then we are wanting to run the car in Europe.
“In an ideal world we’ll do GT World Challenge Europe Endurance, but I’m not saying it’s that or nothing.
“If we can’t get a deal and it’s Sprint or International GT Open or whatever else we can get as a European program, then we’re more than happy to talk to people and do that.
“There are always conversations going on about different things. It would be nice to do a dual program with the car because it’s more than capable of doing it.
“This car seems to be absolutely in its prime, and we have the ability to run it across multiple platforms which we’re happy to do.”
Parker indicated that his team has the capacity to operate programs with the same GT3 chassis on both sides of the English Channel, against the backdrop of new border regulations following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
“We’re fully conversant on the new system,” he said. “It’s a bit painful, but we’re more than prepared for it.
“In 2016 we did Europe and the UK on a single [Bentley] chassis, and again in 2019. Barwell do the same. They use their cars across multiple platforms, so it’s more than possible to do so.
“I can remember in 2016, our car came out of Spa looking like a piece of scrap and then four days later it passed through scrutineering at Snetterton looking like a brand-new car!
“So it’s more than achievable and we’re more than geared up for it.”
Porsche the “Logical” Choice for Life after Bentley
The addition of a Porsche 911 GT3 R means that Team Parker Racing has aligned all parts of its sports car racing operation under the same manufacturer.
The team’s large stable of Porsches includes a multi-car entry for the Cayman-based Porsche Sprint Challenge GB series and a recently-confirmed step into the F1-supporting Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with two vehicles run in collaboration with Revs Motorsport.
“We came very close to going to Porsche every time we bought a car, going back to 2014 and 2016, and even for 2019-20,” said Parker. “We just never had all the parts align.
“Our decision was quite simple: if we were going to change brand or do anything else, we wanted to be with a brand that we knew and understood. We know the product intimately and the people within the product.
“It was the logical thing for us to do and we couldn’t be happier.”
Parker added that siding with Porsche on the GT3 front could open doors to competing in a new range of competitions in the future, and provide a visible progression system through its different car models.
“If you look at our business last year, it was a bit disjointed,” he said. “We did British Touring Cars with BMW, we did GT3s with Bentley and obviously Carrera Cup.
“This year, we took the decision over the winter that if we were going to do this change, it was going to be a one-entity thing. Now our focus is to race with Porsche.
“We will start with Caymans in the Sprint Challenge and we will do Carrera Cup. And GT3 will be the pinnacle of the program for us, at the moment.
“It also gives us the option that should we go further, we can go further with the brand.
“Should we decide to take the step up to the European Le Mans Series, or WEC even with the ultimate goal of going to the Le Mans 24 Hours, we can do so within that whole brand.”