Parry rues missed opportunity but opens GP3 series account
Matt Parry opened his 2016 GP3 Series account with points in both races at the Red Bull Ring, but admits he could have been on the podium.
The Bury St Edmunds-raised racer arrived in Austria at the weekend having been denied a scoring finish in the opening double-header in Barcelona.
But the 22-year-old showed his potential by running at the front of a closely-matched two-day group test at the venue, before underlining that with sixth spot in Friday’s practice session.
Qualifying promised even more, with Parry remaining in touch with the leading positions, and looking to set to improve on his final run, before a repeat of the problem he suffered at the same round last season reared its head two turns from home.
“There are a number of safety features built into the GP3 car, and I hit one of the limiters on the engine at just the wrong time,” he explained.
“It was a different corner this year, but the car went into safety mode approaching turn eight and I lost 50 per cent of the throttle when I tried to accelerate out.
“That was probably worth two or three tenths, which would have been enough to push me up to at least third on the grid.”
Matching the sixth position he achieved in practice, Parry knew that he would need to make some quick moves to improve on that during the opening 24-lap race on Saturday evening.
But a poor getaway meant that he had to be aggressive through the first few corners.
Having climbed to fourth, however, he found himself caught behind team-mate Ralph Boschung at turn three, leaving him vulnerable to attack from behind which cost him a couple of positions.
As rain began to fall towards the end of the race, Parry conceded another position before recovering to sixth as he crossed the finish line.
The second race on Sunday morning started behind the safety car due to the extent of the downpour, and starting from third on the partially reversed grid, Parry was quickly promoted to second.
When the field was unleashed, race leader Jake Hughes bogged down and Parry had nowhere to go but into the back of his fellow Briton, and although he continued as the new race leader, Parry dropped to seventh.
“Despite the conditions, I wanted to go racing as I really felt that I had the ability to win,” he said. “It’s definitely a missed opportunity as the Koiranen car was clearly very good in the conditions.
“I would have had an obvious advantage if I’d managed to get to the front, where there would have been no spray to contend with.
Round three of the GP3 Series takes place in Silverstone this weekend.