Junior kart talent Matthew Parry gave another scintillating display of his pace and passing ability to rebound from two major setbacks and still claim a podium finish in the Stars of Tomorrow Minimax class at Rowrah.

The 14-year old Bury St Edmunds youngster arrived at the picturesque, but challenging, Cumbria circuit at the head of the class standings after a strong opening weekend at PF International in April, but had his work cut out as early as heat two.

Parry began the weekend in familiar fashion, using track knowledge gleaned from a strong Rowrah club meeting in the build-up to the Stars round to take a comfortable victory from third on the grid in his opening heat. Although the windy conditions pushed lap times around a second above record pace, the Ultimate Motorsport driver still managed to best his rivals – including many of the class frontrunners – by 4.5secs over the ten-lap distance as he set out his stall.

Race two, however, could not have been more different as, starting from 24th on the grid, Parry found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when rival Aiden Hills spun over one of Rowrah’s many crests on the opening lap.

Unsighted in the midst of the pack, the youngster made heavy contact with the rear of Hills’ kart, nearly being launched into a barrel-roll as a result. Thankfully, the kart came to rest the right way up, but a secondary impact with the tyre barrier confirmed it as a write-off, leaving the Ultimate team with a lot of work to do before heat three, and Parry with his first DNF of the Stars campaign.

With the salvageable running gear transferred to a spare TonyKart chassis, the indefatigable youngster was back on track for his third heat, and proceeded to show that there were no ill-effects from his off in race two. Starting from tenth, he again took a comfortable win – only to then find that the kart was 0.1kg underweight at the chequered flag.

The resulting exclusion did nothing for his ranking on the day, and left Parry in the ‘B’ Final, needing a top four finish to ensure that he made it through to the main event of the weekend. He was not alone either, with several of the expected frontrunners also having to pull out the stops but, despite the quality of the field and having to start 16th of 24 taking part, the Ultimate kart again claimed a four-second victory to keep Parry’s weekend alive.

Better was to come in the twelve-lap ‘A’ Final, however, as the teenager produced one of the performances of the season so far to convert a 13th row start into a podium finish.

Victory in the ‘B’ Final meant that Parry would have to start 25th of 28 karts in the main event, but he again showed his potential by passing the majority of his rivals on track. With just two mechanically-induced retirements, and few on-track incidents, every place was hard-earned, but Parry claimed no fewer than 22 spots – as well as the fastest lap of the day – to rise to third place and add to his podium tally. The Ultimate kart was just 1.2secs off the top two at the chequer, having picked off its final victim on the very last lap.

The sequence of events over the weekend was enough to drop Parry from first to third in the overall standings, but his resolute performance, allied to the efforts of the Ultimate Motorsport team, ensured that he remains within striking distance of top spot heading to round four, at Whilton Mill, on 7-8 June.

“I’m very, very, very happy with this result,” Parry admitted after completing what series commentator Henry Beaudette had described as an ‘extraordinary’ performance.

“To have a big crash and then an exclusion and still come away with a top three finish is very satisfying – and something of a relief. It has been a weekend of highs and lows, but we showed that we can come through all that and still run at the front.

“I’m looking forward to Wilton Mill now. There isn’t long between rounds, but I am sure that we can run well there – although it would be good if Lady Luck came with us this time too!”


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.