Harris Group backs rising young racing driver, Alex Dunne

Ireland’s leading commercial vehicle distributor announces two-year sponsorship of Alex Dunne

The future of Irish motorsport is looking very promising; Alex Dunne (15) is making a big impression on his new team US Racing, headed up by Ralf Schumacher and Gerhard Ungar. And supporting him on his ambitions are the Harris Group, who has committed to sponsoring Alex.

The teenager from Offaly made his debut for US Racing in ADAC Formula 4 at the famous German racing circuit, Hockenheim. Finishing second in two of his races, Alex also posted the fastest lap to finish the weekend as the number one rookie.

At the sponsorship announcement, Denise Harris, CEO of Harris Group said: “For such a young man, Alex has the composure and confidence of someone with much more experience. We have been closely following Alex’s racing career over the past few years and are delighted to be part of his success. However, we know the best is yet to come and we are committed to supporting Alex in his endeavours to reach Formula 1. We are really looking forward to watching him race over the next few seasons as he continues to make his mark in international motorsport”.

In his short career, Alex has already made a name for himself, since his debut in the Irish Karting Championship in 2014. Since then, he has been no stranger to the podium with several wins in Ireland, UK and across Europe. 2021 has seen Alex take on Formula 4, initially racing in Spain and now Germany with US Racing.

Commenting on what the backing from Harris Group means, Alex said: “Joining a team like US Racing wouldn’t be possible without support like this from sponsors such as the Harris Group and I really appreciate their belief in me. Motor racing is something that I love and is in my blood. I’ve been driving karts since I was nine and really enjoy competing. Being able to race with a team like US Racing is a fantastic opportunity. I’ve got a great team behind me and I am learning every time I sit in the car.”

Alex’s next race weekends take place on October 22nd to 24th, at Hockenheim and November 5th to 7th at the Nürburgring. Following that, Alex will begin testing and preparation for the 2022 season.

ABOUT HARRIS GROUP

Harris Group is Ireland’s pre-eminent importer and distributor of commercial vehicles. Founded in 1961 by Pino Harris, it is best known for its commercial vehicle brands that include Isuzu, Maxus, Hino and Higer. The company relocated in 2019 to a significant new business campus on Dublin’s Naas Rd. featuring a training school, offices and extensive parts, workshop and after-sales facilities.

Harris Group has an ever-expanding range of electric vehicles from LCVs to buses. The current offering includes the road-ready Maxus e DELIVER 3 and Maxus e DELIVER 9 electric vans and the Higer STEED, a 100% electric and metro-ready bus. The newest arrival is the Higer Azure. This 12-metre, 100% electric bus has ground-breaking technology that makes it even greener than ever before, with an industry leading range of over 375km on a single charge.

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Alex Dunne produces an excellent debut performance in Germany

Offaly teenager Alex Dunne made an excellent German Formula 4 debut at Hockenheim last weekend as he got back on track following a two month break. Impressing his new team, US Racing, the youngster took two second place finishes, along with fastest lap in race two, to finish the weekend as top rookie.

Despite his lack of experience in the series, the Harris Group and Maxus backed driver stunned the championship regulars with his pace as he took top spot in both of Friday’s practice sessions. Alex continued to show his pace in Saturday’s qualifying, as he topped the time sheets for much of both sessions before narrowly missing out on a pair of front row starts.

The opening race saw Alex make a good getaway to maintain his third starting position but he was immediately looking for an opportunity to move up a place. The battle over second allowed the leader to open up an early advantage and by the time Alex had grabbed the place the leader had a significant gap which the fifteen year old Irish driver was unable to close. At the end of the long thirty minute race Dunne was secure in second, impressively beating his more experienced US Racing teammates and finishing well clear of the other rookies in the race.

Starting third again in race two, Dunne once again got away well but got pushed back to fourth place at the end of lap one. The Clonbullogue resident was in determined form and moved back into third on lap three, before closing in on the lead battle. At one third distance Alex pulled off a brilliant passing manoeuvre to take second and then set off after the leader. As in race one the closeness of the competition meant that, despite setting fastest lap, Alex was not able to close enough on the leader and had to settle for another impressive runner-up spot.

With the top eight reversed for race three Dunne lined up seventh and was looking forward to another fight back, until disaster struck at the start of the warm-up lap. As the US Racing driver got moving, another driver swept across from the opposite side of the grid and hit his front wheel, causing enough damage to put the rookie out of the race.

Speaking after his debut German F4 weekend Alex Dunne said, “I’m extremely happy with my weekend’s work. It was my first race weekend with US Racing and my first at Hockenheim, so I was delighted to be quickest in free practice. But for a couple of small errors in qualifying, I would have also had two pole positions, but that just goes to show how competitive the series is. To come away with two second places, two rookie class wins and fastest lap in race two is a great result it’s just a pity I did not make the grid in race three due to a bad error by another driver. I have to thank the team and my engineer, we worked really well together and I really enjoyed it. Thanks also have to go to the Harris Group, Maxus, VTL, Reynolds Logistics, Artisan Marble, PDS Associates, Xpress Health and Motorsport Ireland who have all stuck with me while I was unable to race.”

Alex Dunne will be back in action in the German F4 Championship, once again at Hockenheim, on October 22nd to 24th.

 

 

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ADAC F4 Round 3, Hockenheim – Sept 17 to 19 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through Rounds 7, 8 & 9 of the German ADAC F4 Championship on Sept 17th – 19th, using the links below.

The event begins with two practice and two qualifying sessions on Friday followed by Race 1 on Saturday and Races 2 & 3 on Sunday.

TIMETABLE FRIDAY
Free Practice 1: 08:00 – 08:30
Free Practice 2: 10:35 – 11:05
Qualifying 1: 14:40 – 14:55
Qualifying 2: 15:00 – 15:15

TIMETABLE SATURDAY
Race 1: 11:45 – 12:15

TIMETABLE SUNDAY
Race 2: 10:50 – 11:20
Race 3: 14:50 – 15:20

LIVE TIMING

LIVESTREAM – Available Saturday & Sunday

RESULTS

 

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Alex Dunne joins US Racing in Germany’s ADAC Formula 4 Championship

Irish teenager Alex Dunne will join US Racing at the next round of the ADAC Formula 4 Championship in Hockenheim, Germany, on September 17th to 19th.

After making the step from Karting to Car Racing this year, the 15 year old from County Offaly completed several Formula 4 races in the Spanish F4 Championship and now joins with US Racing in Germany’s ADAC Formula 4 Championship for selected races of the series.

“Having gained some experience in single seaters, I am happy to be able to confirm that I will be racing for US Racing in the upcoming rounds of the ADAC Formula 4 Championship at Hockenheim.” said Alex on the announcement of his deal with US Racing. “US Racing is a very successful team with lots of experience. We’ve already had a successful test and some simulator sessions and I feel very comfortable in the team and can’t wait to finally start a race weekend with them.”

“Alex has a very concentrated and exemplary attitude towards racing and being a race driver. His attitude and approach impressed me right at our first test in Formula 4 together. The first test already showed that he has a really good speed, so I think Alex has a big potential for a successful race weekend in Hockenheim”, explained Gerhard Ungar.

Ralf Schumacher is also pleased to have the new US Racing Team member on board, “Alex is still very young but very focused and ambitious, he already showed his potential during our test in the Formula 4 car. I am very happy to have him in the Team.”

The upcoming ADAC Formula 4 event will run from the 17th to the 19th of September with three rounds set to be contested.

 

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Spanish F4 Round 3, Portimao – July 16 & 17 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through Rounds 7, 8 & 9 of the Spanish F4 Championship using the links below.

The event begins with practice and qualifying on Friday followed by Race 1. Races 2 and 3 take place on Saturday morning.

TIMETABLE – See the schedule tab on f4spain.org/en/calendar/

LIVE TIMING

LIVESTREAM – Available Friday & Saturday, see the Live Streaming tab on f4spain.org/en/calendar/

RESULTS

 

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Offaly teenager Alex Dunne back on the road to F1 in Portimao, Portugal

Teenage Irish Motor Racing star Alex Dunne is back on track in the Spanish F4 Championship this coming weekend (July 16th & 17th) as he tackles the second Grand Prix track of his short car racing career.

Alex will contest the latest rounds of the Spanish F4 series as the championship visits the Portuguese Grand Prix venue, Portimao, for its third race weekend of 2021, following a seven week break since racing at Navarra in Spain.

The fifteen year old from Co. Offaly made a fantastic start to his car racing career at Spa in Belgium, taking pole position and third place in race one. Mechanical problems in qualifying at Navarra restricted him to a best result of seventh place from the three races but with those issues now sorted Alex heads to Portugal full of confidence following a strong run in pre event testing.

Speaking ahead of his return to the cockpit, Alex talked about the progress made at the Portimao test. “The Championship had a two day test at Portimao in preparation for this weekend and I was really happy with how it went. The track was new to both me and my Pinnacle Racing team so we spent our time making loads of changes to the car. Portimao is very different to Navarra, which was very flat and stop-start compared to the Portuguese track, which is fast and flowing. There are massive elevation changes which make it almost like a roller-coaster and very interesting to drive.

We started off well on day one, but continued to try different things to get a better understanding of the car. By the end of day two we knew which way we wanted to go and the set up we had found allowed me to get back up to the top of the time sheets in the final couple of sessions.”

Having learnt so much since his success at the opening event of the season and having performed so strongly in testing, Alex is confident of a return to the top of the results this weekend. The Irish driver currently sits ninth in the standings but is aiming for a strong weekend that will really kick start his championship challenge.

Qualifying and race one of the Portuguese round take place on Friday 16th, with two more races on the morning of Saturday 17th. All races are livestreamed and fans can follow Alex’s progress in Portugal through the links on his web site www.alexdunneracing.com and on his social channels.

 

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Tough weekend for Alex Dunne as his Debut car race season continues

Following the success of his first car race event at Spa-Francorchamps one month ago, Irish teenager Alex Dunne faced a tough challenge at round two of the FIA Spanish F4 Championship at Navarra on May 29th & 30th, as his chances of repeating his Belgian podium were ruined by a major mechanical issue in qualifying.

Having diagnosed and fixed the problem the Offaly youngster spent the remainder of the weekend fighting his way back into contention, to finish the weekend with a best result of seventh in race three, having moved his way back onto the pace of the front runners.

Handling issues in Saturday’s first qualifying session restricted Alex’s speed, despite the team making numerous changes to try and give him more grip at the rear end of the car. Following the session a crack was discovered in a critical chassis component, where the rear suspension attaches, which turned out to be the cause of the Irish drivers handling woes. The chassis issue meant that Alex would have to start from seventeenth in the opening two races, on a track where it is notoriously difficult to overtake.

The repair to the rear end of Dunne’s car meant that the team had to start from scratch on set up, due to the chassis now being stiffer. Some progress was made in race one, where fourteenth place was the result, but in the shorter Race two fifteenth was as high as Alex could rise.

With the cars handling improving all the time, Alex was in a much better place in qualifying for race three and towards the end of the session was on his way to a lap time good enough for a front row start. However, the session was red flagged before the Irishman could complete his lap and in the short re-started session he could not get a clear lap to try and repeat the performance. The result was a less than ideal eleventh on the grid for the final race of the weekend, but Alex was quickly back to his Belgian form, as he climbed to seventh at the flag, less than four seconds off the race winner.

Alex summed up his weekend saying, “That was tough. We were bound to have difficulties at some time during the year but I was not expecting a weekend like this. I’m glad we found the issue when we did as we can now get on with fixing the set up of the car and we have already made good progress through the three races since the fault was diagnosed. We don’t race again until July but we have three tests arranged between now and the next round so I’m sure we will continue to make progress before we are back in action in Portugal on July 17th. After a weekend like this it is more important than ever to thank my supporters, VTL, Maxus, Harris Group, KCMG, Reynolds Logistics, Artisan Marble, PDS Associates, Xpress Health and Motorsport Ireland without whom I would not be able to race.”

Alex Dunne will be back on track in just over a weeks time for two days of testing at Motorland Aragon followed by outings at Portimao in Portugal and Valencia, Spain, before the return to race action in mid July.

 

 

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Spanish F4 Round 2, Navarra – May 29 to May 30 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through Rounds 4, 5 & 6 of the Spanish F4 Championship using the links below.

The event begins with practice and qualifying on Saturday day followed by Race 1. A second qualifying session on Sunday morning will decide the Race 2 and Race 3 grids.

TIMETABLE – See the schedule tab on f4spain.org/en/calendar/

LIVE TIMING – Available Saturday & Sunday

LIVESTREAM – Available Friday & Saturday, see the Live Streaming tab on f4spain.org/en/calendar/

RESULTS

 

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Alex heads for Spain for event two of the Spanish F4 Championship

Rising Irish Motor Racing star Alex Dunne continues his maiden season in car racing this coming weekend, when he heads for Navarra in Northern Spain. The fifteen year old Co. Offaly driver competes in the second event of the FIA Spanish F4 Championship, where he will contest three more rounds of the Formula One feeder series.

Alex heads to Spain on the back of an outstanding debut race weekend at Spa Francorchamps, at the end of April. At the Belgian Grand Prix venue he stunned the F4 paddock with a debut pole position and a podium finish in his first car race. Another strong performance in race two resulted in fifth place and the Irish youngster left the opening event of the season lying in an impressive fifth in the championship standings.

Following the season opener, the KCMG academy backed racer headed to Navarra for two days of testing, along with his team, Pinnacle Motorsport, in preparation for this weekends’ event. Alex worked through a number of set-up options in advance of the second triple header of the year and is now looking forward to another strong weekend.

“We’ve been to Navarra twice now and I’m happy that we are in even better shape than we were at the opening event of the season” said Alex as he prepared for his second F4 event. “My aim this weekend is to battle at the front once again and pick up another strong haul of championship points. The opening race weekend was very challenging with changes in the weather and a number of safety car periods, as well as having to undergo my first ever standing starts. I have a lot more knowledge now and I will be much better prepared for the race weekend format as well as knowing what to expect in the races. Thanks once again to my Mam and Dad and all of my sponsors who have made my F4 season possible.”

Event two of the F4 Spanish Championship commences on Saturday morning, with the first of two free practice sessions. Qualifying for Race one takes place on Saturday afternoon with the opening race of the weekend at the unusually late time of 19:00. A second qualifying session will run on Sunday morning which will decide the grid for both of Sunday’s races.

All of the weekend’s action can be followed on www.F4Spain.org with live timing from practice and qualifying and live streaming of the races. Information on Alex Dunne can also be found on his web site www.alexdunneracing.com and on his social channels.

 

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Sensational Car Race debut for Alex Dunne

Teenager Alex Dunne became the first Irish driver to finish on the podium of an FIA European single seater championship race since 2008 when he took a debut third place in the opening round of the Spanish Formula 4 Championship in Belgium on Friday April 30th. The fifteen year old from Clonbullogue County Offaly started his weekend by taking a sensational pole position ahead of a quality International field, made up of twenty eight drivers from seventeen nations, before battling to an impressive podium finish in his first ever car race.

Teenager Alex Dunne made a sensational start to his Car Racing career at the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this weekend (April 30th – May 1st). The fifteen year old from Clonbullogue Co. Offaly stunned the Spanish F4 paddock with his speed, which put him on pole position for his first car race. The rising Irish star then followed up with a maiden podium as he battled against his much more experienced rivals to grab a debut third place.

Alex arrived at the Belgian Grand Prix track as one of the least experienced drivers in the field but quickly set about making his mark. Strong runs in practice were followed by a hugely impressive performance in Qualifying One, which would decide the grid for Race one. Having moved up the order steadily, the Irish teenager then put in two really strong laps to put his Pinnacle Motorsport Car on pole position.

In a weekend of firsts for the Irish driver, next up was a first attempt at a standing start. When the lights went out a good run to the first turn saw Alex sitting fourth but by the end of the lap he was back at the head of the field. A safety car was deployed following a number of incidents and Alex then had to contend with his first restart. On the restart a number of his rivals used their experience to shuffle him down the pack but he battled back impressively to retake the final podium position on the last lap.

The Spanish F4 Championships’ complicated qualifying system meant seventh and twelfth place starts for Alex in the remaining two races, but the youngster was confident of making up places. In race two having climbed up to fifth his front wing became dislodged following slight contact with another car and he was forced to retire.

Race three was again interrupted by safety cars making progress from his twelfth place start difficult. Despite only running four green flag laps due to two long safety car periods, Alex once again impressed as he climbed to fifth place at the flag to finish off his impressive opening car racing weekend.

“I’m delighted to have completed my first ever Car Racing weekend with a pole position and a debut podium.” Said Alex following race three. “I’ve learned so much this weekend and with so much being new to me I am really happy with how everything went. This weekend sets us up very nicely for a championship challenge over the remainder of the season and I can’t wait for the next event to build on this performance. Thanks to all of my supporters; VTL, Maxus, Harris Group, KCMG, Reynolds Logistics, Artisan Marble, PDS Associates, Xpress Health, Motorsport Ireland and my team, Pinnacle Motorsport, for making this possible.“

Alex Dunne will be back in action in the Spanish Formula 4 championship at Navarra, Spain, on May 29th and 30th. To keep up with all of the latest news on Alex’s 2021 season see www.alexdunneracing.com.

 

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