PARRY ‘CZECHS OUT’ FOR FIRST INTERNATIONAL VICTORY


Matthew Parry rode the wave of momentum built up during recent Formula Kart Stars and Super 1 meetings in the UK to claim a well-deserved international success in round three of the RGMMC Rotax Euro Challenge at Sosnova in the Czech Republic.

Coming off back-to-back Formula Kart Stars successes at Rowrah and PF International, the Paul Carr Racing driver headed to the Autodrom Ceska Lipa in confident frame of mind and, despite never having seen the circuit before, was immediately on the pace as three days of practice began.

The shorter-than-expected layout quickly began to produce 45-second lap times, with the fastest Junior Rotax drivers eventually dipping into the 44s and rivalling some of the mid-grid seniors. Despite not quite making the ‘elite’ group in practice, Parry finally broke out of the 45secs bracket in qualifying, responding to main rival Ed Brand’s ‘ballistic’ 44.7secs lap with a 44.8secs effort of his own, claiming the second fastest time overall and a brace of pole positions in his three heats.

Having been warm and sunny throughout practice, however, the weather turned increasingly wet as racing began on Saturday, but Parry remained undeterred, claiming third behind Brand and fellow Briton Josh Webster in the opening Junior Rotax heat, and then going on to triumph in his second outing.

Heat three, meanwhile, produced some extraordinary racing as, with the entire field on slicks, it proceeded to pour with rain mid-race, leaving Parry to go head-to-head with Holland’s Kay van Kemenade in treacherous conditions. Both youngsters displayed excellent kart control as they slithered around the final few laps, before snaking their way to the chequered flag, where Parry, having given chase for much of the race, got the victory verdict by a scant 0.098secs!

Despite two victories in his three heats, the Bury St Edmunds resident lined up third in Sunday’s Pre-Final but, with the wide Sosnova layout reducing the difference between odd and even numbered grid slots, there was no advantage to be had from starting on the inside of row two.

Surprisingly, polesitter Brand opted to use his remaining set of new tyres for the race, while the majority of the field decided to keep theirs for the main event later in the day. Brand duly pulled away at the front, leaving Parry to battle with Webster and van Kemenade for second, taking the position mid-race and holding on to the chequered flag to ensure that he would join his countryman on the front row for the Final.

Although Brand led the opening lap of the main event, his used rubber began to take its toll, allowing Webster and Parry to move ahead. Webster then led until lap five, before the Paul Carr Racing driver seized a lead he was not to lose. After a brief battle with his countryman, Parry gradually extended his advantage over the remaining nine laps, eventually winning by 1.3secs to add another victory to his 2009 haul.

“I am delighted to have won at a major international competition, and this success sits nicely with my recent Formula Kart Stars wins at Rowrah and PFI,” Parry commented afterwards, “It was a very proud moment to be on the podium as part of a British 1-2-3, and this result gives me a chance of a top three position overall in the Rotax Euro Challenge if I can produce a similarly good performance at Salbris in a couple of months’ time.”

Team boss Paul Carr was also on hand to witness Parry’s first overseas success, and was as pleased as he had been to see his charge pick up two wins at PFI the previous weekend.

“This has been coming for quite some time,” Carr said, “Winning here will only give Matt more confidence going forward, and allow him to claim to be one of the very best Junior Rotax drivers in the UK today.”

 

Article created by Craig Llewellyn.