SECOND SUITS PARRY IN GENK


Matthew Parry consolidated his position at the head of the Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax points table after a solid weekend produced three second-place finishes in the overseas double-header in Genk.

The Paul Carr Racing driver was determined to bounce back after his recent disappointment at PFI’s annual Kartmasters event, and produced the sort of performance that has seen him already take three wins in this year’s FKS series.

Although familiar with the Belgian circuit from his days in MiniMax, Parry was making his first foray there in the Junior Rotax class and began steadily, working on his pace through two days of mixed weather practice before eventually qualifying sixth fastest, just over a tenth off the leading time and in a typically well-matched group which saw second through seventh covered by just 0.08secs.

With all the expected names featuring at the front, race day promised some close competition, and Parry’s only regret from qualifying was that he was due to line up on the even-numbered side of the grid as the compact FKS schedule thrust drivers straight into Pre-Final action.

However, making a good start, the Bury St Edmunds youngster gained three places over the first two laps and, having bided his time in third for a couple more, pounced on polesitter Reece Wade to claim second spot fifth time around. Leader Henry Hunter remained out of reach meanwhile, although Parry posted the fastest lap of the race as he attempted to narrow the gap, clocking 56.18secs on the penultimate tour.

The result gave the 15-year old a front row start of the day’s main event but, unlike the Pre-Final, he made a poor getaway, leaving himself with work to do from fourth place at the end of the opening lap.

In now familiar fashion, however, Parry made short work of those immediately ahead of him, passing Wade on lap two and then the fast-starting Josh Parker three laps later. Once more, however, Hunter had established a cushion at the front, and Parry again had to settle for second place after the pair proved equally matched over the remaining twelve laps.

Sunday’s timetable called for a single qualifying session and race, albeit with a long gap between them, but Parry got his day off to a good start by qualifying third fastest, again in the midst of a competitive lead group chasing the ultra-consistent Hunter.

A lightning start then saw the Paul Carr kart take the lead on the opening lap of the final race, but Hunter was not about to let his dominance of the weekend slip away easily, and was soon back in front.

This time, however, Parry remained closer than in either of his previous races, and continued to look for a way back to the front throughout the remaining 22 laps, lapping within a hundredth of a second of Hunter’s best race time and crossing the line just 0.07secs adrift of the winner.

“Henry drove a very good race, just as he had on Saturday,” Parry admitted magnanimously afterwards, “He hardly made a mistake all weekend, so it was going to be very hard to beat him.

“I could probably have been more aggressive and tried to take the lead on the last lap, but I decided that discretion was the better part of valour on this occasion and settled for second. From a championship point of view, this result does no harm whatsoever, and we can go to the final round at Whilton Mill in good shape.”

 

Article created by Craig Llewellyn.