Matthew Parry underlined his affinity with the tricky Rowrah circuit by dominating the fourth round of the Formula Kart Stars campaign and increasing his overall Junior Rotax points lead.

The Paul Carr Racing driver started as he meant to go on, posting strong times in practice before topping his qualifying group and earn pole position for Pre-Final A. Such was Parry’s pace that he also reset Andy King’s lap record from opening qualifying, with the new mark of 46.07secs fully seven-tenths inside the pre-event record.

The Bury St Edmunds youngster managed to set his time using roughly half the number of laps required by the majority of his rivals, with his closest opposition still a couple of tenths adrift, and qualified directly to Pre-Final A, where he would start alongside King and ahead of Alex McGee and Ashley Hand.

A clean getaway was vital and Parry made no mistake, keeping himself ahead of any potential problems on the run to the opening chicane. With his rivals squabbling, he quickly established his position at the front of the pack, setting the fastest lap of the race at 46.18secs as he led from start to finish.

McGee kept the PCR driver honest as, having grabbed second at the lights, he remained within a second of the lead through 17 laps of cat-and-mouse racing, but Parry never appeared threatened. While 1.4secs covered the top two at the flag, such was their pace that third-placed Ollie Varney was fully ten seconds in arrears.

Having had to deal with oppressively hot and humid conditions for the bulk of the meeting, the Junior Rotax pack was thrown a curve ball when the heavens opened in the minutes before the Final. While the preceding KF3 race was red-flag owing to the conditions, frantic action in the pits saw gearing and tyres being changed ahead of the penultimate race of the day, while a soaked track lay in wait to catch out the unwary.

Although Parry led away from the start, progress throughout the pack was understandably tentative, with McGee being pushed onto the grass at turn two and relegated to last place. Perhaps surprised at seeing one of his main rivals removed so early, Parry made a minor mistake by running wide at McRae’s and allowing Andy King to take the lead, but responded quickly to regain control of the race on lap four.

While King’s challenge then faded, Joe McKeand came through from twelfth on the grid to pose a threat to Parry’s lead, briefly hitting the front at Paddock on lap nine before Parry again battled back into McRae’s next time around.

Although McKeand remained in close attendance for the six laps that followed, Parry didn’t put a wheel wrong on the treacherous surface, eventually crossing the line 0.68secs in front to claim his second Stars success of the season.

Such was his perfection over the weekend, Parry’s only errors came at the start and end of the Final. In a Jenson Button-esque moment, when he forgot to drive around to the podium, he was duly delivered to the post-race interviews - soaked to the skin as he had also forgotten to change into his rainsuit prior to the grid forming up!

“I couldn’t have asked for more from the weekend,” Parry admitted, “I’ve always enjoyed racing at Rowrah, and usually seem to go well there, but this was as good as it gets. We were right on the pace from the start and managed to carry that through to the end, despite the best efforts of the weather, so I have to say a big thank-you to the Paul Carr Racing team.

“It was a shame that Alex was taken out of the running so early in the Final, as I think that we would have had as good a battle as we had had in the Pre-Final. As it was, I had enough to worry about with Joe coming through the field, so perhaps I should be grateful.”

Parry’s 180-point haul represented the maximum possible from the weekend, and strengthened his grip on top spot in the championship. A 38-point advantage heading to Rowrah has become significantly greater leaving Cumbria as the season reaches its halfway point, with Parry’s next Formula Kart Stars outing coming at PF International in mid-July.


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.