Ryan Ratcliffe will join former team-mate and reigning British GT champion Rick Parfitt Jr in the No. 1 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 for 2018.
The pair were team-mates in 2013 in GT4, as well as a single GT3 race at Snetterton in 2015. Parfitt Jr is aiming to be the first amatuer driver to successfully defend the British GT title.
Ratcliffe raced alongside Lee Mowle in the AMDTuning.com Mercedes-AMG GT3 and finished 2017 in 10th place with the team electing to miss the final two rounds of the 2017 championship.
“An opportunity came up to drive with Rick in 2018 and to say I was like a kid in a sweet shop is a bit of an understatement!” said Ratcliffe. “I have a great relationship with Rick and to work alongside him this year is going to be fantastic! Working with Team Parker is something I am really looking forward to; looking from the outside they definitely seem like one of the most professional teams on the grid and after seeing the progress they have made with Rick I can’t wait to get started!
“Driving the Bentley will certainly be different; it’s a great marque to be associated with and certainly draws a lot of attention in British GT. This year looks like it’s going to be the most competitive yet but the aim is to be at the front and fighting for podiums every round. I honestly haven’t been this excited about a season to date.”
Parfitt Jr is under no illusions and is well aware that his bid to win back-to-back titles will need a different approach to his victorious 2017 campaign alongside Europe-bound Seb Morris.
“After such a tough yet amazing year in 2017, where I achieved more than I could have ever imagined, the 2018 season needed to represent a fresh new challenge for me,” he said. “There was never any doubt that I wanted to stay in British GT but I wanted to return with a new hunger and no expectations.
“So when the opportunity came up to reignite the partnership with Ryan it was a hugely exciting prospect and felt absolutely right. We have a long history together having been team-mates and rivals in Ginetta GT5s before uniting to win the GT4 title together in 2013.
“In short, this is a proven partnership and I couldn’t be more excited about Ryan and I bringing the original dream team and #1 TPR Bentley back to the best domestic GT championship in the world.”
Team Parker Racing will be unveiling their 2018 livery before the start of the season. Ian Loggie and Callum MacLeod stay on in the sister Bentley.
This announcement brings the official number of GT3 manufacturer entries to three, with Barwell Motorsport fiedling 3 Lamborghini Huracáns, and Balfe Motorsport entering a single McLaren 650S GT3.
The 2018 British GT Championship kicks off on its traditional Easter weekend date (31st March – 2nd April).
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