Minimax star Matthew Parry might have had a tough month, but showed few signs of letting it get him down as he produced a typically battling performance at the prestigious Kartmasters meeting at PF International.

The three-day event brought together the best racers in the closely-fought junior class, and Parry did not disappoint as he put aside recent upheavals within the Ultimate team to claim a top eight finish among a 37-strong field.

A wet first heat saw the 14-year produce the sort of overtaking display that has become his trademark as he turned 15th place on the grid into fifth at the chequered flag, despite having to get used to the loss of race engineer Jonny Stilp and team manager Richard Amos, and using a different engine to the one that had taken him to the top of the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow standings.

Heat two, run in the dry, again saw Parry making ground from a lowly grid slot, exchanging 26th at the start for 14th at the finish after enjoying a lengthy tussle with Delta Karting’s Steven Handford. A front row start for the third of his qualifying races then provided the opportunity for the Bury St Edmunds youngster to return to the top step of the podium as he claimed a valuable race win under pressure from Danny Harwood.

Despite the success, however, Parry remained undecided on the best set-up for his kart, had had little time in which to test the alternate engines made available to him over the weekend, and was running two or three-tenths off the leading quartet during the heats, making fifth on the grid for the pre-final all the more creditable.

The standards set so far this season continue to create high expectations for Parry, and ‘only’ gaining one position to the end of the pre-final was therefore something of a disappointment for the teenager, even though a second row slot was still a solid platform from which to start the main event late on Sunday afternoon.

Parry knew that he would have his work cut out on the opening lap, however, as the even-numbered grid positions do not offer the greatest advantage at PFI, with a long right-hander followed immediately by a right-hand hairpin giving the initiative to those on the inside. Nevertheless, once the pomp and ceremony of the pre-race build-up was over, the TonyKart-mounted driver defied his apprehension to make a good getaway, even managing to improve his position by the hairpin.

Thereafter, however, the untested equipment began to take its toll and, allied to the wearing effects of a serious illness contracted back in March, saw Parry drop pace and positions before eventually crossing the line in eighth place.

“Although I’m a little disappointed with the final result this weekend, I think I can still consider it a good performance considering the circumstances of the last three or four weeks,” Parry said

“Despite all the changes at Ultimate, I would like to thank team principal Kela Walsh for all she has done to reform the team and give me time – although time is not necessarily on our side – to get back to where we were in as short order as possible.”

There is little time for Parry to reflect on the Kartmasters result as he resumes his quest for a podium position at the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow championship’s annual overseas round, at Genk in Belgium, this weekend [9-10 August]. After a disappointing round at Llandow last time out, he currently lies third in the standings with two rounds to run.


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.