Matt Parry’s potential has been recognised with an invitation to join the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Stars’ programme.
Those selected for the scheme are seen as the future of British motorsport, and Bury St Edmunds-based Parry has earned his nomination on the back of two strong campaigns.
The 19-year old, who graduated to the single-seater ranks in 2011, is poised to clinch his second title in as many seasons after building a commanding lead in the 2013 Formula Renault Northern European Cup, having already dominated the final InterSteps series and set a slew of new records on his way to the 2012 crown.
Prior to stepping up to Formula Ford in 2011, Parry was already a multiple champion in karting, having earned back-to-back national titles in the Formula Kart Stars and Super 1 series, as well as finishing fourth in Europe and second in the 2009 Rotax World Finals.
The Fortec Motorsport driver is an original member of the Caterham Racing Academy, and has carried the squad’s instantly-recognisable green-and-yellow colours to five race wins and eight podiums in this year’s FRenault NEC, as well as victory in one of the two races at the 2013 Pau Grand Prix.
“Naturally, I’m delighted to have been invited to join such a prestigious organisation as the BRDC,” admitted Parry, who joins fellow Suffolk speedster Josh Webster in the programme,
“Becoming a ‘Rising Star’ is not only an honour, but also brings a number of benefits as a young driver, and I look forward to being able to make the most of it.
“However, I also know that I need to represent the club in the best possible way, both on and off the track, and that’s what I intend to do – starting with another championship title.”
Having impressed the ‘Rising Stars Panel’ with his ability on and off track, Parry - who is also a member of Sport Wales’ ‘Elite Cymru’ programme - joins a group of around 30 drivers following in the footsteps of F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton on the BRDC scheme.
Providing that his career continues its current upward momentum, he can remain a part of the roster — and carry the exclusive Rising Star ‘blue roundel’ — until his 24th birthday.
“The British Racing Drivers’ Club has been extremely impressed with what Matt has achieved, particularly this season,” the BRDC’s Ian Titchmarsh confirmed.
“In addition to leading the Formula Renault NEC standings very convincingly, his CV is exemplary and he made a seriously good impression at his interview, so there was little doubt about his inclusion in the latest intake. He is the ideal candidate for the ‘Rising Stars’ programme.”
Meanwhile, Fortec managing director Jamie Dye was left delighted by the news.
“It’s great to have another Fortec driver on the BRDC scheme,” he added.
“We love having British drivers on our team – especially competitive ones – and Matt’s nomination is an acknowledgement of British motorsport talent.
“With the right backing and support, we have no doubt that Matt can – and will – go a lot further in his career.”
n Round six of the 2013 Formula Renault NEC, a triple-header event where Parry could conceivably wrap up the title, takes place at Most in the Czech Republic over the weekend of August 30–September 1.
n Mickfield-based race ace Josh Webster tackled the famous corners of Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps in the latest round of the GP3 Series over the weekend.
On the undercard of Sebastien Vettel’s dominant win in the Formula One race, Webster qualified 22nd, but was the innocent party in a first-corner tangle with Emanuele Zonzini that dislodged the Suffolk driver’s rear wing and ended his race.
In the second of the weekend’s races, Webster battled his way through to take 18th and now turns his intentions to the penultimate stop of the GP3 tour at the high-speed Monza circuit in Italy.