Ben Barker on the podium at Le MansParr Motorsport driver Ben Barker won today’s Porsche Carrera Cup race held on the historic Le Sarthe circuit. The race started at 11:15, just hours before the Le Mans 24-hour race, combining the grids of the French and Great Britain Carrera Cups. The 62-car field completed eleven laps of the famous track in spectacular weather.

The race contained a number of incidents but the two that had the biggest contribution to the overall result as contact between leader Kevin Estre and second place Earl Bamber on the opening laps. The incident put Bamber out of the race and may have contributed to the late puncture suffered by Estre on the last lap. His misfortune handed victory to Ben who was running in second place.  He worked hard to get his car past Tom Dillman early in the race to be able to capitalise but was clearly overjoyed with his result.

“It was amazing.” Said Ben. “I had a little bit of luck but I was in the position to pick up the pieces. I made a good move on Dillman and then it was just get my head down because I had good pace. Thanks to Parr because the car was good, it was a balanced car and everything held on so I’m really, really happy. What an amazing place to win at. That podium overlooking the pit lane, it was special.”

Peter Kyle-Henney fared less when he retired on lap three with a puncture. “It wasn’t the ending I wanted but to take part in something like this in phenomenal and the opportunity to go around with the really quick guys and push is brilliant.” Said Peter. “It was great racing but there is debris on this track and you have to look out for it. I didn’t see it and the tyre just went bang approaching Mulsanne Corner. It was fortunate that it happened just before the braking zone so I was able to slow the car down without hitting the barrier. I have enjoyed myself though.”

The team celebrateAdding to the silverware haul was Pete Smallwood who won the GT3 Cup Challenge category. Running in his 2013 ProAm2 championship winning 997 Pete ran a steady race to cross the line if first place. “I got a good start, stayed out of trouble, built the gap and then just got my head down.” Said Peter. “I drove as consistently as I could whilst taking into account the cars being fired off in every direction into the gravel. I kept off the kerbs for the first few laps and then just held the gap. Towards the end the tyres were going away so I backed off and brought it home. It’s an unbelievable experience. The team did a fantastic job. The car was mega. It’s just the best, the best, the best.”

It has been 18 years since Parr last competed at Le Mans and the magic and the mystique of the venue was not lost on team boss Paul Robe as he accepted the award for Team of the Weekend.

“Unbelievable!” said Paul. “Absolutely unbelievable. We had a target and we came here with the win potentially in our grasp and everybody worked absolutely flat out to try and achieve it. We laid the plan, Ben had the same attitude and he put it together and did a marvellous job. The whole thing, the setup, engineering on the car and everything all contributed to that result. What can I say? Absolutely magnificent for Parr in it’s thirtieth year.”