2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain competitor Matthew Parry has joined the AirAsia Team Lotus driver development programme, a scheme created by the Formula 1 team to nuture the brightest young talent in world motorsport.

The news comes as Parry gets ready to make his debut in the single seater series at Silverstone on 9/10 April with Fluid Motorsport. The 2010 Super 1 British Karting Champion is one of ten drivers worldwide on the programme and will be given physical and mental training, as well as a look into the inner working of an F1 team. The Van Diemen he will compete in this year will run with AirAsia and Team Lotus branding on it.

Parry said: “The chance to link up with Team Lotus is fantastic. It is not the sort of opportunity which comes along every day, and I am very fortunate that Team Lotus and AirAsia have decided that I am worth backing. I am looking forward to making full use of the experience and facilities on offer to me as I make the transition from karts to cars.

“Having tested regularly with the Fluid Van Diemen I am already excited about the year ahead, and confident that with the support of Team Lotus and AirAsia it can be a successful season.”

Former F1 driver Alex Yoong, who oversees the programme, commented: “I believe that Matthew shows all the hallmarks of a very talented driver, and am excited to have signed him as part of the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program. We will provide Matthew with advice and guidance throughout his debut season with Fluid Motorsport Development in Formula Ford, and will look forward to sharing in his success.”

Sam Roach, of Formula Ford Championship promoter RacingLine added: “It is fantastic that such a promising young driver should be awarded this career-enhancing opportunity by AirAsia and Team Lotus.

“Formula Ford has produced 10 Formula 1 World Champions over the years, Jenson Button being the most recent, and approaching 100 Grand Prix drivers. I very much hope that Matthew Parry, and some of his rivals on the 2011 grid, will follow in their wheeltracks.”