Parker Thompson Shows Brilliant Pace in Challenging Weekend at NOLA with Pirelli GT4 America
Parker Thompson displayed exceptional talent this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park in his second weekend with Hanley Motorsports and Pirelli GT4 America. Piloting the No. 999 GR Supra GT4 EVO, the 25-year-old Canadian, showcased outstanding pace despite inclement weather and penalties.
Thompson, a versatile driver with experience in multiple North American series, set a dominant lap in Practice 1 on Friday, demonstrating his skill and potential from the factory Toyota GT4 race car. In Qualifying, he secured an impressive second-overall starting position for Race 2.
Heavy rains on Saturday forced the postponement of Race 1 to Sunday morning where, Thompson’s teammate and rookie driver Daniel Hanley started in the 18th position. At the halfway point of the 60-minute contest, Hanley pitted from 29th and handed driving duties off to Thompson. Exhibiting remarkable pace and determination, Thompson advanced to P15 in the first four laps of his stint. Ultimately he brought the white, red, orange, and yellow No. 999 to the finish line in 11th place overall and 5th in the Silver category.
Unfortunately, a pit stop violation was assessed to Hanley Motorsports after the team’s mandatory stop and driver change did not meet the minimum time requirement. The resulting penalty dropped their entry to 35th overall (7th in class). Changes to the weekend schedule due to weather also forced the cancellation of Race 2, where Thompson and Hanley Motorsports would have started in second place among the 42-car field. That starting position would have granted him an opportunity he has not yet seen in the Pirelli GT4 America series.
Despite the challenges faced at NOLA Motorsports Park, Thompson remains optimistic and focused on demonstrating improvement. “The Hanley Motorsports GR Supra GT4 EVO was exceptionally fast out there. Toyota Gazoo Racing North America and TRD USA have put together an amazing car that shows great pace and flexibility on the track. My personal training efforts and experiences so far in 2023 are paying off, and I think that was on display here this weekend. As a team, we’re feeling a bit unlucky, but we know we also have to make our own luck. There is a great group of people behind the No. 999, and we’re all going to put our heads down and keep pushing,” said Thompson. “We’ll regroup and be even more threatening next round at COTA.”
Pirelli GT4 America returns to action with Rounds 5 & 6 of the 2023 season taking place at Circuit of the Americas on May 19-21. Thompson and Hanley Motorsports have their sights set on the upcoming event, hoping to build on the promising pace they displayed at NOLA Motorsports Park.