Alex Dunne makes extrodinary F3 debut

Alex Dunne produced an extraordinary performance on his F3 and Macau Grand Prix debut to take second place in Saturday’s first race of two. Having started from sixth on the grid Dunne achieved the almost impossible, around the tight street circuit, by picking off four of his more experienced competitors to move from sixth on the grid through to challenge for the race win.

Saturday’s race saw Dunne make a brilliant first F3 race start to move up to fourth place on the run to the first tight corner, before he was then best on the brakes to take third place. Following a safety car period Dunne was again on the move at the restart and almost got by both lead cars on the opening lap before eventually slotting in to second place.

Once clear in second Alex initially put the race leader, Luke Browning, under pressure, but with the results of Saturday’s encounter deciding the grid for Sunday’s race, Alex settled for second and a front row start for his first appearance in the Macau Grand Prix.

The F3 rookie’s getaway in Sunday’s main race was not as good as Saturday’s and he found himself on the outside of a queue of cars heading into turn 1. With no gap in the traffic to get back in line, Alex ran out of room on the outside and his Macau debut ended in the barrier.

Despite his early retirement the Irish teenager could still leave Macau with his head held high as on one of the most daunting tracks in world motorsport he was easily the most impressive Macau and F3 rookie in the field.

 

 

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Alex confirms Macau Grand Prix debut

GB3 Championship runner-up Alex Dunne is the latest graduate of the UK’s leading single-seater category to confirm his place on the grid for this year’s FIA Formula 3 World Cup at the Macau Grand Prix.

The Irishman won five races in GB3 this year with Hitech Pulse-Eight, as he took the title fight to the very last race of the year at Donington Park. The 17-year-old then gained his first experience of the FIA F3 car to be used at Macau, in post-season testing at Imola, where he posted the fastest time in the final session.

Dunne has now opted to remain with Hitech as he takes on the challenges of the Armco-lined Guia Circuit next weekend (16-19 November), as the Macau GP celebrates its 70th event.

Previous winners of the event include Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato.

 

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GB3 Finale, Donington October 21st & 22nd 2023

You can follow Alex’s progress through the final event of the 2023 GB3 Championship at Donington Park, on October 21st & 22nd, using the links below.

The event begins with qualifying on Saturday morning, followed by Race 1, with races 2 & 3 on Sunday.

TIMETABLE SATURDAY
Qualifying: 10:50 – 11:10
Race 1: 14:57 – 15:17

TIMETABLE SUNDAY
Race 2: 10:07 – 10:27
Race 3: 15:20 – 15:45

LIVE TIMING & RESULTS

LIVESTREAM – Available Saturday & Sunday

 

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Dunne Dominates Dutch GB3 weekend

Alex Dunne claimed his third and fourth GB3 wins of the season over the weekend of October 19th & 20th at Zandvoort, Holland, to reawaken his championship challenge with just one weekend left to run. The Offaly teenager’s double win puts him firmly back into championship contention, as the series heads to Donington Park for the final three races, on October 21st & 22nd.
A very strong run in qualifying saw Dunnes’ Hitech Pulse Eight car line up on pole for race one and second for race two, with championship leader, Callum Voisin, down in tenth, offering the Irish driver a fantastic opportunity to make up some ground on the leader.

In Saturday’s first race Dunne made a strong getaway to lead the opening laps before a safety car intervened. On the restart Dunne once again got his head down and opened up a large gap with a string of fastest laps. At the flag he took victory by more than six seconds and set fastest lap of the race with a time almost three quarters of a second quicker than any of his rivals.

Saturday afternoon’s second race saw Dunne again take the lead and then pull away from the pack after an early safety car. In a near identical showing to his race one performance, his second win was once again a dominant one taking the flag with a winning margin of almost five seconds and again setting fastest race lap.

Sunday’s race three was run in torrential rain and ran almost entirely under safety car. GB3 runs a reverse grid for its third race of the weekend and this put Alex at the very back, well behind all of his championship rivals. A good start saw him gain a number of places before the safety car was deployed. On the restart the Harris Group backed driver began to work his way through the field again but another safety car brought his progress to a halt. This time around the organisers ran out of time to clear the track for a return to action and the race ended behind the safety car, thwarting Alex’s chances of making up further ground in the championship.

The reigning British F4 Champion now heads to Donington Park with a strong chance of making it back to back British titles. Just seventeen points separate Alex from the top spot and with three races still to run a good finish in race one could put him right back in the title fight.

 

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Alex stars at Mondello Park Historic Festival

The annual Mondello Park Historic Festival presented Alex Dunne with an exciting opportunity to broaden his experience, with a star performance behind the wheel of a historic Le Mans 24 hour class winning Sportscar. The teenager drove the 1986 Spice SE86, from the circuits’ Martin Birrane collection, which was raced to a class victory at the 1987 Le Mans 24 hours as well as seven World Sportscar Championship race wins in the same year.

Having only tasted the performance of the Group C2 car for the first time on the Friday before the event, Alex was trusted with the rare and valuable car for two demonstration runs, one on the Saturday of the event and one on Sunday. Despite having only previously driven much smaller, lighter and more modern single seater machinery, the Laois youngster put on a great show for the large crowd as he impressed behind the wheel of the unfamiliar racer.

Speaking following his Sunday run Alex said “What an opportunity that was. The car was completely different to anything I’ve driven before so I hope that I did it justice and that everyone enjoyed seeing it on track as much as I enjoyed driving it. I am so grateful to Mondello Park and the Birrane family for allowing me to experience this piece of motorsport history and for all of their other support during the year”.

 

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Record Breaking Belgian weekend for Alex Dunne

It proved to be a memorable weekend at Spa-Francorchamps for Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Alex Dunne, as the Irishman claimed his first two GB3 victories, broke the record for the most points earned in a three-race GB3 event since the implementation of the current points structure in 2018, and earned the Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Weekend Award.

Dunne proved to be rapid all weekend, just missing out on pole position in qualifying by a tenth of a second, but overturned that in races one and two by sweeping past pole sitter Callum Voisin on each occasion.

In doing so, he also set the fastest race lap of the weekend, with his time of 2m16.223s coming on the same lap he passed Voisin for the win.

Dunne is the third recipient of the prize this year, with championship leader Joseph Loake securing the honour at Oulton Park, and Tymek Kucharczyk earning it at Silverstone.

“I’m very happy with how this weekend has gone,” Dunne said. “Our pace was super strong right from the start in practice, the team at Hitech GP gave me a fantastic car to drive all weekend, so a huge thanks to them.

“I’m glad we’ve finally had the opportunity to showcase the pace we have, taking two wins and the fastest lap to go with it each time.

“I’m feeling very comfortable in GB3 now, and that’s starting to come out in our results. It’s great to catch up a lot of points in the championship, and I’m looking forward to what we can achieve from here, starting at Snetterton next time out.”

 

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Irish Rising Star Alex Dunne Begins GB3 Championship at Oulton Park

The next stage in Alex Dunne’s burgeoning single seater career begins at Oulton Park this weekend [8-10 April] as the Irishman kicks off his 2023 GB3 Championship campaign.

The 17-year-old dominated Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series last year, setting a new record of 11 race victories in a single season, a further six podiums, five outright pole positions and an eventual winning margin of 79 points, despite contesting only nine of the ten rounds.

Dunne was similarly impressive en route to second in the Italian F4 standings but will remain in the UK to contest the highly-competitive GB3 Championship in 2023, for what will be his third season in single seaters.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” says the teenager from Offaly. “I think we have a little bit more time to find, from what I’ve seen in testing, but I’m sure with time and experience, we’ll be in the mix.

“Last year was fantastic, breaking records and enjoying plenty of success, but nothing in motorsport is guaranteed and I’m expecting it to be trickier this time around, having gone up another level.
“In my opinion, it’s going to be a very close championship, but I’m looking forward to the fight.”

With a new championship comes a new car to learn, with Dunne now racing the Tatuus MSV-022 that is unique to GB3. With more power, downforce and aerodynamic performance than the FIA F4 car, it represents a learning curve, but one that Dunne is wholeheartedly enjoying.

“The big jump was definitely the downforce,” explains Dunne. “In terms of speed, there’s not really a whole lot of difference. But adjusting to the higher downforce and a naturally aspirated engine – in F4, we had a turbo – so getting my head around how the power applies out of a corner was also something I had to learn.”

It’s a new environment, but for Dunne, the ultimate ambition remains exactly the same. “Coming off the back of the season I had last year, with hard work and the right application, we should be running up at the front.”

In 2023, GB3 will comprise of eight events – six in the UK, plus overseas trips to Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort – and it all begins around the fast, flowing Oulton Park International circuit this weekend.

 

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Alex Dunne receives backing from Mondello Park

Mondello Park, Ireland’s only International race circuit is delighted to announce its backing of Alex Dunne for his 2023 GB3 campaign. As part of their support, Mondello Park and the Birrane Foundation, will provide Alex with financial and marketing support for the 2023 season and beyond.

The Birrane Foundation was set up by the family of the late Martin Birrane, owner of Mondello Park, to support young Irish Motorsport Stars and Alex is the first to receive their backing.

The Offaly teenager has impressed on the world stage, winning the British F4 championship and finishing as runner-up in the Italian F4 championship last year. In winning the British F4 title, Alex beat current Formula One driver Lando Norris’s record of most wins in a season. So far in 2023 Alex has taken two GB3 wins and sits second in the championship by a single point.

 

 

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Huge progress and race wins for Alex Dunne in UAE Formula 4

Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year, Alex Dunne, prepared for his 2022 European Car Racing season with an impressive, confidence building, challenge for the UAE Formula 4 Championship during January and February. The sixteen year old Irish star made huge progress as he took his first two car racing wins and established himself as a consistent front runner in a championship which featured the top young racers from around the world.

Dunne headed to the UAE in Early January to meet up with his new team, Hitech GP and get acquainted with the all new Formula 4 car which has been introduced for 2022. With new tracks to learn and the entire championship condensed into five consecutive weekends the Harris Group and Motorsport Ireland backed driver new he had a major challenge ahead.

With limited testing available, the opening race weekends were used to try a range of different set-ups on the unfamiliar car, but this did not hold Alex back as he just missed out on a podium by finishing fourth in race one at the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit. Two more top tens were achieved over the remaining three races to complete a solid opening weekend.

Moving to Dubai Autodrome for the second round, the team continued to gather data on the new car by trying a range of setups, resulting in a string of top ten finishes. Staying at Dubai Autodrome for round three, Alex’s results from the first three races of the event did not properly reflect the progress being made, but he put that right in the final race of the weekend.

Having started fifth the only Irish driver in the field showed his true potential for the first time as he led comfortably by the end of lap one. An incident behind him brought out the red flags and while Dunne followed the rules and returned to the grid every other driver in the field made their way into pit lane. The actions of the other drivers led to the bizarre situation where Alex would start the race as the only car on the grid, but with so many cars starting from pit lane it was decided to re-start the race behind as safety car while adding a five second penalty to the entire field, except Alex.

Away from the restart the Hitech car again led and pulled clear of the field apart from just one of his competitors. With his pit crew keeping him informed of his advantage the young Irish driver allowed his rival to pass, rather than getting into a battle and then maintained the gap at under five seconds to take his first Car Racing win.

With the development work on the car progressing, Dunne was at his most competitive for the final two rounds. At round 4 he qualifying on the front two rows in both sessions and then went on to add another podium finish to his record, before heading for the final weekend of the season.

Returning to Yas Marina for the first time since round one, Alex ran at the front throughout the weekend taking an impressive second race win of the year in race three along with fastest lap. With the front portion of the grid reversed for the final race, Alex’s win put him eleventh on the grid but he impressed once again as he coolly picked of his rivals to finish the championship with a fourth podium.

Speaking on his return home from the UAE, Alex expressed his satisfaction with the way things had gone. “We went to the UAE Championship to build my knowledge of the new car and to learn some new tracks and the whole experience has been extremely beneficial. I learned so much about working with a team of the calibre of Hitech, and developing a car. For all the hard work to result in my first Car Racing wins has just been phenomenal. In the end I took two wins, two more podiums and finished fifth in the standings, while competing against the best young talent in the world. I have to thank Hitech for the opportunity of racing in the UAE and all of my sponsors, Harris Group, Motorsport Ireland, VTL, Reynolds Logistics, Artisan and PDS as without them and the support of my parents I would not have been on the grid.”

Alex Dunne will continue his 2022 Formula 4 challenge in Europe. Details of his 2022 programme are still being finalised with will be announced over the coming weeks. To keep up to date with Alex’s career you can follow him on his social media channels.

 

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ADAC F4 Round 6, Nurburgring – Nov 5 to 7 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through Rounds 16, 17 & 18 of the German ADAC F4 Championship on November 5th – 7th, using the links below.

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

TIMETABLE FRIDAY
Free Practice: 08:45 – 09:15
Qualifying 1: 12:25 – 12:40
Qualifying 2: 12:45 – 13:00

TIMETABLE SATURDAY
Race 1: 10:15 – 10:45

TIMETABLE SUNDAY
Race 2: 08:45 – 09:15
Race 3: 13:00 – 13:30

LIVE TIMING

RESULTS

LIVESTREAM – Available Saturday & Sunday

 

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