Paul Carr Racing’s Matthew Parry continued his strong start to 2009 by claiming a first major championship race win and underlining his ever-growing reputation as one of the true talents of the future as the new Formula Kart Stars series kicked off with a double-header at Kimbolton.

Building on recent impressive performances in both the RGMMC Rotax Euro Challenge and UK-based Super 1 series, Parry showed himself to be the class of the Junior Max field as the rebranded Formula Kart Stars [FKS] championship began life as an official Formula One-approved category.

While most of the country basked in pleasant Easter sunshine, Kimbolton remained shrouded in cloud and rain, and, with everyone running various tyres in free testing, it did not appear promising for the 15-year old Kosmic-mounted driver. However, once the matter of qualifying – and running the series’ control tyre – came around, Parry came to the fore, posting the second fastest lap in Saturday’s timed session, as his recent European experience proved beneficial.

From there, the weekend became a little confusing, with the new FKS format of parallel qualifying groups feeding to pre-finals for both A and B Finals. Parry’s performance, however, allowed him to progress directly to Pre-Final A, which would determine the grid for the first main event of the season.

Second fastest time in qualifying put him on the second row for the pre-final and, despite losing places in the traditional early skirmishes, Parry secured third spot on the grid for the A Final, behind fellow TVKC members Will and Henry Hunter.

The brothers proved to be no obstacle in the main event, however, as Parry steered his PCR-run kart into the lead on lap one and, driving immaculately, continued to pull away over the remaining twelve tours, eventually triumphing by over two seconds to become the first Junior Max round winner under Bernie Ecclestone’s patronage.

“It’s great - our first major win for a long time,” Parry enthused, “In practice, we weren’t that fast, so our expectations weren’t too high, but then we qualified second on Saturday, which proved we did have the pace.

“A lot of my main challengers were starting further back in the final, so I thought I had a good chance of winning and I definitely went for it. I followed Henry Hunter, overtook him near the Bus Stop and, after that, tried not to look behind me. I didn’t know how much of a gap I had, but I just tried to keep everything consistent. I felt I had the extra pace if I’d needed it.”

The overcast conditions continued into Easter Sunday, but so too did Parry’s form, as he claimed fastest time in his qualifying group for part two of the weekend double-header. This time, with just A and B Finals, there was little room for error but, again, Parry had done enough to put himself at the front of the A Final pack, with his qualifying time good enough for pole position.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough to guarantee another victory, with front row rival Ash Hand getting the benefit of the doubt over a questionable start – which, according to the officials, was within the hitherto unheard of 0.1secs tolerance – and seizing the initiative. Parry, meanwhile, found himself disadvantaged as other karts gained from the confusion and, out of position, was pushed into a spin and demoted to the tail of the 27-kart field.

“It was looking good after I qualified on pole, but it all got ruined at the start,” he admitted, “I was told to take the start slowly because of trouble in some other Junior Max races, but it didn’t really pay off. Ash Hand got away and Ollie Varney squeezed me at the first corner. It was a racing move, but then I got a push from behind which spun me around.”

Against the odds, and again defying the greasy conditions, Parry mounted another of his now trademark recovery drives, slicing through the pack to make up no fewer than 21 places in 22 laps and claim a valuable sixth place

“I was quite frustrated, but pleased with the way I stayed focused and made my way back through,” Parry reflected, “However, I didn’t think I should have been in that position in the first place. I’m good friends with Ash and I think, in normal circumstances, we would have pushed each other hard and put on a good show.”

Parry’s frustration was shared by his team, which had hoped to add to his maiden success from Saturday.

“We questioned what happened at the start, but were told that there was a tolerance of a tenth of a second – which is an interesting piece of information for everyone,” Parry’s father Simon commented, “However, Matt again showed his true grit and, with his talent and growing experience, proved that he can really race. After the recent Super 1 round, I asked him for firsts and seconds rather than seconds and thirds and, sure enough, he managed to get that first first place.”

Although the championship positions have yet to be released, Parry is certain to among the leading runners, giving the team confidence for the rest of the season.

“We’re so pleased to have Matt in this team,” PCR’s Richard May concluded, “We’re really enjoying honing a truly talented diamond and can’t see him going anywhere but forward after his performance this weekend.”


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.