Paul Carr Racing’s Matthew Parry could have started June with the rare honour of heading all three points tables in the championships he is chasing in 2009, only to be denied by an unfortunate incident at round two of the RGMMC Rotax Euro Challenge.

Having moved to the head of the Junior Max category in both the UK-based Super 1 and Formula Kart Stars series, Parry headed to the Kartplanet circuit at Busca in Italy in confident mood, keen to build on his strong performance in the opening event in Spain in March.

Having endured a tough start to the long weekend, in which he struggled for pace in pre-event practice, the teenager admitted that he was reasonably happy to have qualified fifth fastest, knowing that he would get to start from third on the grid in each of his three heats.

A comfortable win in his opening race set Parry up for another strong showing, and he looked set to repeat the result in heat two until the spot of misfortune that was to define his weekend. Running strongly at the front of the field with half a lap to go, the PCR kart caught the fall-out of an incident ahead of it, losing its nosecone in the process. Despite Parry still being able to cross the line in first place, the clerk of the course had little option but to exclude him for the missing bodywork – a decision that even the Briton’s closest rivals admitted was harsh.

Although he subsequently finished second in his third and final heat, the disqualification meant that Parry would only be classified in eleventh place ahead of the Pre-Final, leaving him open to the mayhem that frequents the middle of the grid.

Sure enough, just two corners into the penultimate race of the weekend, Parry found another kart attempting to pass over him, wrecking his own machine and leaving him plumb last for the main event later that afternoon.

That, however, provided another stage on which Parry could demonstrate the overtaking ability that has become a familiar sight in the UK. In just 16 laps, the Bury St Edmunds youngster picked off no fewer than 30 rivals to be running in a podium position entering the final lap. Only a last corner spurt from countryman Ed Brand ultimately denied Parry third place, but the PCR driver left Italy with the fastest Junior Max lap of the weekend, after posting a 59.567secs effort during his pursuit.

“I was absolutely devastated not to keep third place after passing Ed on the final lap, but he found better exit speed on the last bend, and there was nothing I could do about it, so congratulations to him,” Parry commented, “After what happened in heat two and then the Pre-Final, I am happy to have come away with some solid points, and am looking forward to round three at Sosnova next month.”

While the non-finish in the Pre-Final at Busca dented Parry’s hopes of moving to the head of the RGMMC standings, he returned home safe in the knowledge that he currently controls both the Super 1 and Formula Kart Stars competitions after consistent performances in the latest round of each.

Despite qualifying a disappointing eighth fastest on a Rowrah circuit he enjoys, the 15-year old’s heat results saw him start from fifth in the first of two finals and he quickly latched on to Brand’s tail as they broke away from the pack. After finishing 1-2, the pair were due to line up on the front row for final two, only for Brand to suffer a mechanical failure. Parry then made a superb getaway, but had his engine bog down for several laps, dropping him behind as many as six karts before the problem cleared and allowed him to recover to third place.

Formula Kart Stars broke new ground at Glan-y-Gors in north Wales and, as with Rowrah, the weather appeared to have the upper hand, but Parry gradually picked up his pace to finish as runner-up in the Pre-Final and start from the front row in the main event. An uncharacteristically poor start dropped him several spots initially, however, before the now-familiar Parry overtaking ability hauled the PCR kart back into the top two.

“It’s good to be leading both championships, but it would have been good to have got a win in there,” Parry admitted, “However, I am putting together some consistent results with the Paul Carr Racing team, and that is a good way to go about winning a title.”


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.