9 Year Old Cadet kart racer Alex Dunne wins IRL Plate
At Pallas Karting in Tynagh County Galway last weekend, 15 of the best Cadet karters in the country competed to win the 2015 IRL Plate. The one off event is for the title of All Ireland Champion and the winner in each class is entitled to replace his or her race number with the IRL plate until the 2016 event.
Alex Dunne set the pace in Friday testing and along with father Noel, was confident of a strong result in the all important final on Sunday afternoon.
Starting 5th in the final, Alex knew he had the pace to challenge for the win, but contact at turn one immediately knocked him down to a lowly tenth place. Within two laps, he had climbed to eighth place and began the task of closing the gap to the leading pack ahead. A succession of fast laps meant he was back in the all important tow with just two of the ten laps left to run. On the final tour, Alex had climbed to sixth and took another place half way around the lap to put him right with the leaders for a grandstand finish. In the scrabble for the run to the line, Alex was able to get a run through the final corner and with an undercut on the exit was able to snatch the lead as they crossed the line to take an impressive victory. The gap to second place finisher at the flag was just 5 hundredths of a second, but he had done enough to take the win, and more importantly, the coveted IRL title!
The cadet class is for 8-12 year old drivers and is generally thought to be one of the most competitive classes in Irish Karting at the moment. Many F1 drivers including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button began their career in Cadet karts.