MATT PLAYS IT SAFE AT SHENINGTON


Matthew Parry bounced back from frustrating weekends at both Larkhall and PF International to take another step towards securing the Super 1 Series Junior Rotax title with a solid performance in round six at Shenington.

Consolidation was the name of the game for the 15-year old, who knew that he needed to be in and around the top three finishers in each of the weekend’s two finals to keep his advantage in the point standings and, although the weather did its best to keep the entire field on its toes, Parry and the Paul Carr Racing team achieved its aim.

The Welsh-born youngster arrived at Shenington on the back of a busy academic week, collecting the GCSE results he needed to qualify for a National Diploma course in engineering at his local college and also enrolling for the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence at Loughborough. Between the two, he was also invited to Lotus Racing headquarters at Hingham to meet with key team members Mike Gascoyne, Nino Judge and David Evans, who oversee the squad’s young driver development scheme.

With his education secured for the next two years, Parry was able to focus on his karting commitments from the off, and featured alongside his main rivals at the head of the timesheets in varying track conditions during Friday testing. The only headache for the PCR team was a seemingly down-on-power engine that refused to be cured and, although matters were a little better when qualifying began on Saturday, Parry found himself only fifth fastest in his group, and eighth on the combined list.

That meant that he would start on the outside of row two for his two heats and the conservative approach to the weekend started in Saturday afternoon’s race where, despite feeling that he may have been able to challenge for a higher position, Parry settled for third on the road. Come Sunday morning, and heat two, however, he couldn’t help himself, and duly claimed a narrow victory to boost his confidence ahead of the point-scoring finals.

His results combined to produce third on the grid for Sunday afternoon’s first final but, once again, prudence reigned. While second may have been possible, the PCR kart crossed the line third, with Parry less than a second behind his two main championship rivals.

The front-running trio became a quartet in an equally exciting main event, with Jack Barlow joining Parry, Jack Marshall and Sean Babington in setting the pace, and sharing the lead between them during the course of the 15-minute race. Parry led into Wilkins on the penultimate lap but, as is so often the case at Shenington, found himself not only passed by Marshall, but also hung out to dry as both Babington and Barlow used the gap to squeeze by. In any other circumstances, he would have tried to respond on the final tour but, with one eye firmly on the points situation, he settled for fourth.

“I was down on power all weekend and, as Shenington is Paul Carr’s local track, we would have expected to have run away with the round, as my existing lap record would prove,” a satisfied Parry commented afterwards, “However, with the lack of full power and the need to be careful with regard to the championship, third and fourth in the finals is a solid result.

“It leaves me with a little room to spare going into the final round at Three Sisters and, while I am not counting my chickens as there is a lot of work to do just yet, I can go there both confident and enthusiastic.”

Although the current standings show Parry trailing Marshall by eight points, the situation is reversed when dropped scores are taken into account, with the Paul Carr Racing driver sitting on a 27-point cushion going to the final event.

However, in light of the effect switching between the Junior and Senior Rotax classes had following Parry’s appearance in the RGMMC Euro Max series at Speedworld in Austria, he has taken the decision not to enter round four at Genk to concentrate on securing the Super 1 title.

 

Article created by Craig Llewellyn.