Matthew Parry consolidated his assault on three Junior Rotax titles with another podium-winning performance at the latest Super 1 round at Larkhall in the west of Scotland.

Heading to the event as leader of the point standings, the Paul Carr Racing driver again showed that he would be the one to beat as he set the pace in Friday practice. No doubt benefiting from his decision to attend a recent West of Scotland club meeting at Summerlee Raceway – even though the full event was ultimately cancelled – Parry was able to post good 38-second lap times from the start, and carried his form into timed qualifying on Saturday.

Maintaining his early dominance, and bolstered by his recent maximum points score from the Formula Kart Stars round at Rowrah, the 15-year old again proved to be the quickest in the field, claiming pole position with a lap of 38.22secs, with a full tenth margin over second place. That the next five drivers were covered by a similar margin in what was once more a closely-matched class underlined Parry’s performance – and the expectation of what was to come.

With the weather holding after a glorious week, the Bury St Edmunds youngster duly claimed victory in the first of his two heats, leading from start to finish while the pack spent 17 laps squabbling in his wake. A similar success appeared to be on the cards in his second heat as Parry again made the most of pole position, but a late-race move from main rival Ed Brand saw the PCR kart drop to the runners-up spot.

Usually, results of first and second would be good enough to keep a driver in pole position but, for the second time this season, Parry found himself trumped for top spot by a driver with two heat wins, and was forced to settle for the outside of row one in the Pre-Final.

Even-numbered grid slots are often undesirable in kart events, but the problem is magnified by the layout at Larkhall, and Parry suffered the fate of many before him as he was shuffled back into the pack on lap one. That left him vulnerable to the usual midfield melee and, on lap four, his luck ran out when he was tipped into a spin – and the turn one barriers.

Although he managed to recover from the incident and rejoin the race in 13th spot, Parry’s previous pace appeared to have deserted him and, unable to break out of a close-fought midfield, he was able to reclaim just one place before the chequered flag. Just as another even-sided start appeared likely, however, the PCR driver benefited from the introduction - at the meeting - of new clutch monitoring technology, which saw one of the drivers ahead of him excluded from the results, promoting Parry to eleventh.

The stewards’ decision proved to be a god-send to Parry, who promptly capitalised on a good start from the odd-side of the grid to make up no fewer than eight places before finding himself embroiled in a typically frantic battle for places two to five.

Swapping places with Lee Napolitano, Fraser O’Brien and Shaun Slavin almost by the lap, Parry was never sure which position he would occupy at the chequered flag but, once the battle ended, found himself, unusually for 2009, off the podium.

Again, however, he would benefit from the series’ decision to employ the Unipro Unilog technology, with another driver subsequently excluded from the results promoting the PCR driver to third place. With the stewards’ decision only coming after the meeting had ended, however, there would be no podium celebration, but that wasn’t uppermost in Parry’s mind.

“After the fantastic weekend we enjoyed at Rowrah, I was definitely looking for another maximum score,” he admitted, “In that respect, the results are disappointing, but third place in the final means good points, and I am still in a strong second place in the standings, and only six points off the lead.

“We had another good weekend here, and I have to thank the Paul Carr Racing team for giving me a balanced, well set-up kart. I am now looking forward, with confidence, to both the next Super 1 round and also the Formula Kart Stars and RGMMC Euro Rotax Challenge events that are coming up.”


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.