MSA Team UK racer Matt Parry reached a major milestone on the road to Formula 1 when he was announced as the latest winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at the Autosport Awards in London last night (Sunday 1 December).
The award has been presented annually since 1989 and offers the winner a McLaren F1 test, £100,000, full British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) membership and an Arai helmet. Previous winners include 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button, F1 driver Paul di Resta and former grand prix winner David Coulthard.
Parry, 19, was one of six award finalists who took part in a shootout at Silverstone aboard Formula 2, Mercedes DTM and McLaren GT machinery.
Parry is also the first driver to have been part of every MSA Academy programme; he first took part in the Performance Master Classes as a karter at Buckmore Park, and then completed the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) in 2011. He spent two years within the Academy and has recently graduated to the Team UK national squad ahead of 2014.
Parry said: “I’ve always said that being part of the MSA Academy has been one of the best things for my career so far. When I started with the Performance Master Classes in my karting days I realised there was so much I needed to learn about becoming a complete package rather than just a fast driver. The Academy opened my eyes to how good you need to be in areas like fitness, media, communication, working with your engineers and understanding your car. It’s helped me to develop those skills and it’s become more in-depth the further I’ve gone along the Academy pathway.
“The Academy has also made me a more professional athlete, which helped me during the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award shootout. I’m now looking forward to working with my MSA Performance Manager, Andy Meyrick, on the Team UK programme in 2014.”
MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, who oversees the MSA Academy, said: “We’re delighted to see Matt become the fourth Team UK driver in a row to win the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, which is a major milestone in any young racing driver’s career and the one they all want to win.
“It’s immensely gratifying to see Matt come through every level of the MSA Academy. We’re extremely proud to have played such a significant role in his development as a young driver and we look forward to working with him next year and beyond as he continues towards his goal of a career at the top level.”
2 December 2013