Alex Dunne will contest the three round WSK Final Cup in Italy over the coming month. Starting this weekend at the South Garda Kart Circuit in Italy.
Alex will return to the OK Junior category for this end of season series.
The event can be followed on the WSK Live Timing which can be accessed at www.wskarting.it/livetiming.
Watch the WSK event on the championships LIVESTREAM.
All of the results will be posted shortly after each race on www.wskarting.it/results.
Following the longest and toughest event of his short International Karting career so far, Alex Dunne just missed out on a top ten finish on his IAME International Final debut in Le Mans, on Sunday October 14th. The twelve year old from Offaly finished eleventh in the Junior category, after a fantastic fight back through the field, leaving him as the top Irish junior competitor at the event.
Following testing on Tuesday, the real competition got underway on Wednesday with practice and qualifying. Practice finished with Alex second and fifth fastest across his two sessions, leaving him full of confidence for qualifying. Torrential rain arrived just before his session however, and Alex’s’ lack of wet weather experience in the IAME Junior class left him an unrepresentative forty third overall, out of one hundred and nineteen drivers, and thirteenth on the grid for his six heats.
Alex made up for his qualifying disappointment straight away with an impressive drive to eighth in heat one. Following another strong start to his second heat Alex was hit from behind and pushed off dropping him down the order. A fight back to fifteenth at the flag was then nullified when a penalty was applied after the race, for contact with another driver in the incident which knocked him off track, leaving him twenty fifth.
The remaining four heats saw the Newbridge College student back on top form as he improved on his starting position in each race, taking a best finish of fifth in his penultimate run. Just before his final heat, Alex’s team, Forza Motorsport, spotted a problem with his engine and had to complete a lightning quick engine change to get him onto the grid. The youngster struggled a little for pace with the new engine, but still managed to improve on his starting position, and when the points from all six heats were tallied Alex was the only Irish Junior to make the A final grid, albeit in thirtieth place.
Starting the pre-final, which would decide the grid positions for the all important final, Alex knew he had to balance the need to make up places against the danger of attracting another penalty for contact and elected to make steady progress initially. As the race settled down he began to pick off his rivals despite not being able to match his earlier pace and at the flag he had secured the eighteenth starting place for the final.
Heading into the final the team had sorted his engine well enough to allow Dunne make further progress right from the start. By half distance he was running just outside the top ten and had latched onto the back of the lead group. With the front runners defending constantly, the pack behind formed a tight group which swapped and changed places regularly. Alex was up to eight at one point but a number of incidents and the closeness of the racing saw him eventually cross the line in eleventh place after the longest and hardest race of the week.
Speaking after the final race of the five day event, Alex was reasonably satisfied with his result. “Looking at how the heats went, I’m happy with how I finished, but with the pace I had earlier in the week I should have finished higher. One bad heat was enough to ruin my chances, as this track is so tight that you need to start at the front to have any chance of winning. I played it safe in the Pre-Final and got up to eighteenth so I was able to have a real go in the final. I was in eighth at one point but the race was like a demolition derby and in the end I was just glad to finish in one piece and to be the top Irish driver in IAME Junior.”
Having started the Le Mans week as one of the most inexperienced and youngest drivers in the IAME Junior field, Alex Dunne justified the organisers decision to give him a wild card entry by finishing as top Irish driver in his class as well as being one of the highest placed non IAME regulars in the competition.
Ireland’s top International Kart Racer, twelve year old Alex Dunne, undertakes one of the biggest challenges of his career this coming weekend, October 11th to 14th, when he races at the world famous Le Mans circuit in France. Alex will race in X30 Junior, alongside the top drivers from worldwide X30 championships, as they come together to contest the IAME International Final.
Dublin born and now living in County Offaly, Dunne has been racing Karts since 2014 and first raced Internationally in 2016, when he took his maiden British Championship race wins. Since then Alex’s career has progressed extremely quickly, taking him to the Mini ROK International Final in Italy at the end of 2017, where he finished fifth out of more than one hundred and sixty drivers, and on to the OK Junior European and World championships.
Alex heads to Le Mans on the back of an impressive performance at the OK Junior World final in Sweden at the end of September. Racing in the World Final for the first time, the sole Irish driver at the event finished eleventh, from more than one hundred entries, many of whom had previous world championship experience. The quality of Alex’s performance earned him a wild card invitation to this weekends IAME finals, which are normally only open to drivers who regularly compete in their countries national IAME series.
The Le Mans event takes place over four days starting on Thursday October 11th and building to the finals on Sunday October 14th. Testing for the event is already underway and Alex, along with the hundreds of other drivers aiming for a place in Sunday’s final, is learning the Le Mans circuit and familiarising himself with his IAME X30 Kart prior to qualifying and the first heats on Thursday.
With a successful first test day behind him, where he ran in the top six throughout, Alex had the following to say about his latest challenge. “I’m really enjoying the experience and so far it’s been going really well. Le Mans is really impressive and It’s really good to be at a proper race track with all the facilities. The track really suits me as I like circuits with a good mixture of quick stuff and technical sections. I’ve been quick so far and I’m feeling really good in the Kart, which makes me very positive about the weekend. I just have to make sure that everything goes to plan in qualifying and then I’ll be aiming for at least a top three finish in the final.“
To keep up to date with Alex Dunne’s progress at the IAME World Finals you can find live timing and results on www.iamekarting.com during the event or you can follow Alex on facebook and instagram. For more information on Alex see www.alexdunneracing.com.