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08 Jul 2020

Photos by Luke Holroyd / Porsche Sport

Parkins extends lead as Bow takes first win

Spectacular scenes at Zandvoort in the PCGB Sim Racing Club Championship

Zandvoort hosted rounds nine and ten of the Porsche Club GB Sim Racing Championship, and current leader Ryan Parkins kept his title challenge on course with a win and a third place in the two 20-minute races. Race two was a thriller with Marc Bow surviving intense pressure over the second half of the race to take his maiden victory
Gavin Hall was on pole for the opening race but it was Parkins who got the better start to lead into Tarzan, and that was the story of the race as the championship leader eased away in the early laps. Behind, Mark Phillips also passed Halls for second, while the poleman had to settle for third at the end of the opening lap.
A tangle at Tarzan and again further in the lap shuffled the midfield. Dan Bathie made it round fourth ahead of Carl Sharkey and Austin Greatorex, but at the front Halls was the driver to watch, as he inched closer to Phillips lap by lap. Halls went by early on lap six, leaving Phillips now to be the target of Bathie, who was quickly within half a second of the final podium slot.
Heading into the final laps, Phillips had Bathie right with him, but was being very precise with his positioning and not offering his challenger any opportunity. Everything changed on the final lap and Bathie gained third in an unexpected manner. Parkins had already crossed the line for the win as Halls exited the final corner only to put a wheel on the grass and get out of shape, tangling with two back markers. Phillips blasted by to take second, with Bathie just two tenths behind in third.
Greatorex was fourth after a tense battle with Carl Sharkey, while still travelling backwards, Halls crossed the line to take sixth.
To add to the spectacle race two was not only a full reverse grid but the sun was setting on the Dutch circuit as the lights went out for the start. After car damage in race one Carl Hazelton was on pole and led the field away, fending off challenges though the Tarzan hairpin at the end of the pit straight.
As usual the second race saw a host of position changes and it was Amreek Sachdev who led at the end of the opening lap with Marc Bow close behind. By lap two Johnny Elia had joined them for a battle for the lead with Carl Sharkey closing quickly on the trio. As sun fell over the circuit, Bow established a lead from Sharkey with Elia in third but Parkins started to close in having avoided any contact on his climb through the field.
By lap four Parkins was third after Elia span out. Bow kept his driving clean and consistent, putting in some good lap times despite the pressure starting to grow from behind. The leader gained some respite as Parkins and Sharkey touched, both briefly going off, and that put Phillips, another to have a smooth rise through the field, right with them.
The final laps were some of the best racing of the series, with a four-car train at the front and Bow never offering a sniff of an opportunity to his pursuers. On the final lap it became a six-car group as Mark Baxter-Jones and Bathie closed up in turn, just two seconds covering them at the finish as Bow took his maiden win ahead of Sharkey and Parkins, Phillips fourth.
“Race two was really good fun,” Parkins, “I held back at the start and I caught them but so hard to overtake. I was chatting to Carl in the week and giving him a few tips which sort of backfired, the low sun made it hard to see in places and I was having to come off the gas early at times to ensure I didn’t go into the back of him.
“I’m pretty confident about the championship but everyone is improving and I’m really enjoying the racing and helping all the guys.”
Race 1:
1 Ryan Parkins 12 Laps
2 Mark Phillips +4.670s
3 Dan Bathie +4.960s
4 Austin Greatorex  +6.972s
5 Carl Sharkey +8.142s
6 Gavin Halls +15.358s
7 Mark Baxter-Jones +22.835s
8 Ryan Ratcliffe +27.559s
9 Luke Holroyd +30.289s
10 Stuart Clark +33.120s
Race Two:
1 Marc Bow 12 Laps
2 Sharkey +0.o99s
3 Parkins +0.323s
4 Phillips 0.970s
5 Baxter-Jones +1.684s
6 Bathie +1.852
7 Ratcliffe +6.477s
8 Halls +7.172s
9 Clark +13.005s
10 James Cummins 13.243s
Championship Points:
1 Parkins 191 points
2 Greatoex 154
3 Sharkey 152
4 Mark Phillips 124
5 Marc Bow 117
6 Gavin Halls 101
Watch the replay here.
Next Round: Sunday 12 July at Silverstone. Watch the racing here.