Rick Parfitt Jnr, who, in 2017, won the British GT GT3 drivers championship with teammate Seb Morris in the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, has announced that he is stepping back from racing in 2023.
In a post on social media Parfitt explained that his commitments to his band, combined with the demands of managing his Chrohns disease condition, has meant that his music needs to take priority over the coning season.
“So it has been a crazy year with my band and it is only looking to get busier so I had to choose between the day job and the passion., ” he said. “Despite receiving loads of incredible offers to not only come back with BTCC but also to return to international GTs I have had to think long and hard about it all and I have decided to take a year off racing for the first time in 11 years.
“The main reason is that the RPJ Band is so busy with nearly 100 gigs in the diary I simply can’t make the logistics work or be physically able to commit to a full season of racing. With Crohns I suffer from chronic fatigue along with all the other staff and there is precious little rest as there is, so I have to prioritise the band.”
Parfitt began his racing career in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge and went on to win the GT4 class of the British GT Championship in 2013 with Optimum Motorsport alongside teammate Ryan Ratcliffe.
Parfitt teamed up with Seb Morris in 2016 in the Team Parker Bentley and took victory at Oulton Park before finishing third in the drivers standings. Parfitt and Morris went into the 2017 season known as the ‘Dream Team’ and took three victories before securing the title at the final round at Donington,
Rick returned to the British GT Championship in 2018 and ’19 but could not re-capture the pace in the car that had taken the title in 2017. He then competed for two seasons in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, latterly in the Uptonsteel Infiniti Q50, finishing 32nd in the standings.
Parfitt is not discounting guest drives in 2023 before planning a return to the racetrack in 2024.
“I will look to do a couple of guest drives this year if I can and some cool interactive stuff with you all and most importantly build to return in something for ’24.” he said.
“But in the meantime I hope I brought something a little different and run to the racing paddocks and will continue to try and rock the hell out of every crowd!”