Parry’s first national title after podium treble joy

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BURY St Edmunds’ race sensation Matt Parry secured his first UK national title with a podium treble in the final Dunlop InterSteps Championship at Croft.

The AirAsia Caterham Driver Development Programme protégé headed to north Yorkshire with a 52-point lead over his nearest rival, an advantage he would not relinquish on the way to the title.

Starting from fifth place in race one, Parry proved he would not be resting on laurels and quickly progressed to third where he would stay for the remainder of the race, picking up vital points to his overall total.

The following day, the 18-year-old started race two from third on the grid, but quickly moved into second, demoting his title rival and putting pressure on the race leader.

Over the next five laps, the pressure finally told as the youngster seized an opportunity to take the lead and clinch a 13th win of the year that would ultimately secure Parry his maiden title.

With the title in the bag, race three was a more relaxed affair, with team and driver able to enjoy the moment of celebration.

Parry again demonstrated his pedigree, cutting through the field to snatch an opening lap lead from fifth on the grid, before a combination of the conditions, a couple of safety car interruptions and wearing tread on his tyres contrived to drop him back to third at the chequered flag.

Despite this, Parry was left to reflect on a success that he hopes will continue next year.

“We knew, coming into the weekend, that we just needed to keep our heads and rack up the points we needed to make sure of the title,” he said.

“Three podium finishes were good enough, and helped maintain our record of being in the top three in every race we finished — but it was still nice to add another victory.

“I am delighted to have taken the title, my first since graduating from karts, and hope that it will lead on to bigger and better things.

“I’ve enjoyed an excellent rapport with Fortec this season, and it seems only right to move forward with the team next year.

“Winning the InterSteps title has given me even more belief that I can be successful, and I can’t wait to get started on next season.”