Matt Parry suffered a temporary setback to his Super 1 Series title ambitions in round five at Larkhall, but has vowed to bounce back stronger than ever in the remaining events this season.

The 16-year old headed straight to Scotland from his Senior Rotax debut in the RGMMC Euro Challenge in Austria, and spent the first part of the weekend re-acclimatising to his regular Junior class machine, and the switch back from Mojo to Vega tyres. However, once back into the groove, he was immediately on the pace in Friday practice as the top two or three runners ducked into the 38secs bracket.

Clearly confident ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s qualifying, Parry suffered from being drawn in the second group to hit the track, finding that conditions were slower than for the earlier runners. Despite that, he still managed to clock the fourth fastest time overall, which guaranteed a front row start for each of his heats.

The only problem was that he was to start from the outside of row one at a circuit where the even numbered slots are at perhaps their biggest disadvantage of the entire season, with Larkhall’s opening left-left combination handing the initiative to those on the opposite side of the grid.

However, although he was pushed back to fifth place in each race, Parry battled back to claim a win and second place – although that only earned him another outside front row start for the Pre-Final, which duly followed the same pattern as the two heats.

This time, with the key runners all racing together, Parry found it harder to get back to the front of the field, but used his experience to sacrifice fourth place on the line, ensuring that he would start from the favourable side of the grid in the main event.

The ploy appeared to work, as he moved straight into fourth place at the start of the Final, then slotted into third as the leading trio built a cushion over the rest of the field. Racing with Ash Hand and Oliver Hodgson, Parry looked good for a podium, although the exact order appeared hard to determine with all three so closely matched.

There were signs, however, that Parry was not his usual smooth self, with some uncharacteristic complaints that he was being overly aggressive, and this proved his undoing in the closing stages of the Final as he found himself on the grass while attempting to make a move for second place.

Although he was still able to rejoin in third, such was the lead group’s advantage, the dirt on his tyres took time to clear, allowing Sean Babington to close in. The pair changed places on several occasions, but Parry was clearly struggling and, approaching the hairpin for the penultimate time, misjudged a move and ended up riding over Babington’s kart, leaving the driver a little worse for wear.

Although the on-board cameras would later confirm that there had been room for Parry to make his move, the Paul Carr Racing driver was shown the black flag and subsequently excluded from the race – a decision that the team opted not to appeal.

The non-score was a body blow to Parry’s once strong points lead, but he retains the overall advantage heading to round six at Shenington, and is determined to bounce back.

“I felt quick, but it was a struggle to keep the kart on the circuit at times,” he said, reflecting on the Larkhall weekend, “I suppose I could be accused of trying to finish the championship at this meeting, but I will learn from this and return stronger than ever. There are now just two rounds remaining, and I know I have to focus if I am to come out on top.”

With Super 1 action not resuming until the end of August, Parry will take in this weekend’s Kartmasters event at PF International in order to get some vital extra track time in the Junior Rotax kart ahead of Shenington.


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.