Spanish F4 Round 1, Spa-Francorchamps – Apr 29 to May 1 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through Rounds 1, 2 & 3 of the Spanish F4 Championship using the links below.

The event begins with practice and qualifying on Thursday followed by Rounds 1 and 2 on Friday and Round 3 on Saturday morning.

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

LIVE TIMING – Available Thursday, Friday & Saturday

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

RESULTS

 

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Fifteen year old aspiring F1 racer ready for new challenge

Alex Dunne begins his Car Racing career this coming weekend, April 29th to May 1st, on one of the most challenging tracks in Motorsport. The 15 year old aspiring Grand Prix racer from Offaly will tackle the Spa Francorchamps circuit, home of the Belgian Grand Prix, as he competes in the first three rounds of the Spanish Formula 4 Championship.

Following a hugely successful Kart racing career Alex has chosen to start his Car Racing journey in F4 as it is sanctioned by the FIA as the first step on the ladder to Formula One. For his debut, the Motorsport Ireland Race Academy backed teenager will partner with top Irish race team Pinnacle Motorsport, who also begin their first season in Spanish F4, following many years of success in Asian F4, F3 and Endurance Racing.

The Spanish Formula 4 Championship is one of a five, FIA sanctioned, European F4 competitions and while Spanish based, it will also take in races at Grand Prix tracks in Belgium and Portugal. The Spa season opener will enjoy a very high profile and offer Alex the chance to impress in front of some of the biggest names in world motorsport, as he races on the same bill as the World Endurance Championship.

This coming weekend will not be Alex’s first taste of the Spa circuit, or of F4, as he has been testing at the Belgian track, and in Spain, in recent weeks. Despite being one of the least experienced drivers at the official test in Belgium, Alex impressed by adapting quickly to the track and the Formula 4 car, to record fourth fastest time, less than half a second off the top spot. He now heads into his debut race weekend full of confidence and ready to fight for top rookie honours as well as for the top places overall.

Speaking before his departure for Belgium Alex said, “I’m really looking forward to my first car race weekend and what better place to start than on the Spa Grand Prix track. I know its going to be very tough as many of the drivers have loads of F4 experience, but I showed at the test that I can run at the front and I’m ready to take them on. We have three races this coming weekend and the aim is to put in three strong performances, with no mistakes, and pick up as many points as I can to take on into the remainder of the season. I have to thank a huge number of people who have rowed in behind me this year to make this happen, including VTL, Maxus, Harris Group, KCMG, Reynolds Logistics, Artisan Marble, PDS Associates, Xpress Health, Motorsport Ireland and of course John O’Hara of Pinnacle Motorsport.”

Practice and qualifying for the opening round of the Spanish F4 series takes place on Thursday April 29th. Races one and two will run on Friday with race three scheduled for early on Saturday morning. The weekends action can be followed on the championships’ livestream on www.f4spain.org. Alex will also keep his fans up to date throughout the weekend on his Instagram and facebook pages www.alexdunneracing.com.

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Alex Dunne signs up with top Irish Team for Car Racing debut

Fifteen year old Alex Dunne has this week announced that he will make his car racing debut in 2021, driving for Pinnacle Motorsport, the hugely successful Irish team with bases in Kildare, Malaysia and China. The Offaly teenager will begin his quest to become a Grand Prix star in the Spanish F4 Championship, part of the FIA’s global feeder series for International Formula 3 and the recognised first step on the road from Karting to Formula One.

Having spent a number of successful seasons in European Karting, Alex is now ready to make the move to Car Racing and will do so with the support of Motorsport Ireland’s new Race Academy. Preparations for the season are well underway with Alex’s F4 car already being prepared at Pinnacle’s Kildare base for its first shakedown run, before the team travels to Spa Francorchamps in Belgium for the first test of the season in early April.

Pinnacle Motorsport is run by former Irish Champion and Asian F3 race winner John O’Hara and the team has a wealth of experience competing at all levels across Asia, including race and championship wins in Asian F3 and F4. Driving for Pinnacle will be the perfect start for Alex as he is already familiar with the team personnel and he will be the teams’ sole driver in the Spanish F4 series.

The Spanish Championship is one of a number of regional FIA Formula 4 series which have been designed to provide Kart racers with the perfect first step into Car Racing and it should see Alex going head to head once again against a number of his old karting rivals. The series will take the drivers to three current Formula One venues as they travel around Europe, beginning in April with Spa, the home of the Belgian GP. The seven event calendar will also include trips to the Portuguese Grand Prix venue, Portimao, and November’s season finale in Barcelona.

The move from Karting to Car racing is always a challenge for young racers but Alex is looking forward to getting to grips with his new car and is happy with preparations so far. “I’ve been doing a lot of work over the winter, with my physical training and also learning the tracks through sim racing, so I’m ready now for the real thing. This is a very exciting step especially with racing at such amazing venues as Spa and Portimao. The team will be a great fit for me as I know John already and I know he will help me to learn the car and achieve my goal of challenging for race wins and the championship. A lot of work has gone into putting this season together and I have to thank all of my backers, Motorsport Ireland, VTL, Harris, Maxus, Reynolds, Artisan and NEA Designs as without their support I would not have this opportunity. I just want to get started now and I can’t wait to get back racing.”

Speaking about the season ahead Pinnacle Motorsport team owner John O’Hara said. “We’ve been following Alex’s progress at the highest level of Karting over the past couple of years so we are really looking forward to working with him as we tackle the Spanish series for the first time. We’ve had a lot of success in Asia and we are aiming to replicate that in Europe with Alex. Initially it will be about building Alex’s experience and confidence in the car but by the end of the season we will be aiming to challenge at the front and win races.”

Alex Dunne’s Spanish F4 campaign starts with Rounds 1, 2 and 3 on April 24th and 25th and his progress can be followed on the championships live stream on www.f4spain.org.

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WSK Open Cup – Nov 23 to 29 – event details

The 2020 WSK Open Cup will take place at the Adria International Raceway over the week of Nov 23 to Nov 29. Two rounds of the championship will be run concurrently with qualifying for both on Wednesday, heats on Thursday and Friday, pre-finals on Saturday and the final of both rounds on Sunday.

Using the links below you can follow Alex’s progress through the week of the WSK Open Cup event.

TIMETABLE

LIVE TIMING

Round 1 RESULTS

Round 2 RESULTS

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Wet conditions scupper Alex Dunne’s World Karting championship challenge

Alex Dunne was forced to retire, not once but twice, from the Karting World Championship in Portugal on Sunday when an unexpected rain storm turned the final on its head. Having driven really well in his heats, to make up for an unusually low qualifying position, the Clonbullogue teenager lined up seventeenth for the final and was all set for a push towards the front until the change in weather conditions brought his challenge to an end.

Seventy five of the worlds best Kart Racers lined up for qualifying at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, with the World title in their sights. Alex ran in the third of four, eight minute, qualifying sessions on Friday and was unfortunate to not get a single clear lap, from the six he completed, leaving the only Irish representative in the World Championship ninth in his session and starting fourteenth for all four of his heats.

In a hugely competitive field of highly experienced drivers, fighting through to the front from fourteenth was always going to be tough for Alex, who was tackling his first World title event as a senior driver and his first with the Energy Kart team. Some impressive driving in Saturday’s heats did however see the young Irish driver pick up best finishes of fifth and sixth, to easily secure a slot on the grid for the final, in seventeenth place.

Having completed all of his heats on Saturday, Alex had to watch as those drivers with heats to complete on Sunday morning got a chance to get some experience in the now soaking wet conditions. Taking to the track for his first wet race of the weekend Alex’s aim was to try and avoid the expected early race incidents and stay in contention for what would be a very long, nineteen lap final. Unfortunately things did not go to plan, as on the opening lap the Offaly racer went off track avoiding, a spinning kart, and got stuck on the by now extremely muddy track-side grass.

It looked like it was all over for Dunne, but a red flag at the end of the opening lap earned him a reprieve as the race was set to be restarted using the original grid. With limited time, the Energy Kart team had just one option, which was to put Alex out on his dry weather Kart, and with the track looking set to dry up, the youngster was still in with a chance. Soon after the restart however the conditions worsened and with his Kart virtually impossible to keep on the track, Alex was forced to retire from the final for the second time.

Speaking after the race the extremely disappointed teenager said, “That was a tough weekend. Following ninth place in my qualifying session we knew things were going to be difficult. In such a strong field starting so far back in every heat meant that it was going to be virtually impossible to make the front few rows for the final. When I saw the rain I thought that if I could make it through the first couple of laps I could make progress but when you start in the midfield there’s always the chance that you will get caught up in something and that’s exactly what happened. I feel very disappointed for everyone involved, all of my sponsors, especially Reynolds Logistics, VTL, Artisan Marble and NEA Designs, along with the Energy Kart team and my parents, who put so much effort into getting me into the World final. I don’t know what 2021 holds for me yet, but I’d love another go at this event next year to try and put things right.”

Alex Dunne has now completed his short 2020 Karting season and is already working on the next step of his career. A number of options remain open to him in Karting but other options, including graduating to Car Racing are being considered.

OK World Championship – Nov 6 to 8 – event details

Using the links below you can follow Alex’s progress through the three days of the 2020 OK Karting World Championship at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimao, Portugal.

Following a test day on Thursday, Friday morning will be given over to practice with qualifying on Friday afternoon. Each driver will race in four heats across Saturday and Sunday morning with the aim of qualifying as high as possible for Sunday afternoon’s World Championship race.

TIMETABLE

LIVE TIMING – Friday, Saturday & Sunday

LIVESTREAM – Saturday & Sunday

RESULTS – Friday, Saturday & Sunday

 

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Alex Dunne set to represent Ireland at Karting World Championship

Following last weekends’ warm up event at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, Alex Dunne returns to the same venue this weekend for the biggest race of his career so far, where he will be Ireland’s only representative at the FIA Karting World Championship.

The Portimao event sees the fourteen year old from County Offaly tackle his first Senior Karting World Championship. Racing in the ‘OK’ Category, for drivers from fourteen years old and upwards, Alex will drive for the works Energy Kart team, as their sole senior driver at World Championship level, against an experienced field of eighty drivers from twenty six countries.

Last weekends warm up event saw Alex working with the Energy Kart team for the first time at a race weekend and both he and the team treated it as testing and preparation for the World Championship. Having started off with a strong qualifying performance, the team then worked through a variety of chassis settings in order to find the optimum set up for this weekend. Despite not running the same settings two races in a row, the Clonbullogue teenager still managed a string of good results to qualify tenth for the pre-final.

Problems in the pre-final, which would decide the grid for the final, dropped Alex down the order and left him with a major task, as he would start thirtieth for the deciding race. Having made a good start the Irish driver then lost valuable track time when he went off on the first lap, avoiding an incident between two other drivers, damaged his Kart and had to retire from the race.

Speaking about his preparations for the World Championship, Alex was happy with the progress made on his first trip to the Portuguese track. “Looking at the results it seemed like an up and down weekend, but it was actually very positive as we were trying loads of different things on the Kart to see what would and would not work. I learned loads and I now have a very good idea of which way to go on set-up for this weekend.

We had good speed in last Friday’s qualifying and the first heat, and the set-up we initially used, along with the changes we tried, will make me a strong contender this weekend. The atmosphere in the team is really good and I know that everything is now in place to have a really good run this weekend and I’m going back to Portimao aiming to win the World title.”

Alex Dunne’s progress through the three days of the World Championship can be followed on the FIA Karting website and social media channels, as well as through the event livestream on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on Alex and links to the event timing and livestream see www.alexdunneracing.com.

Champions of the Future Karting – Oct 29 to Nov 1 – event details

You can follow Alex’s progress through four days of Champions of the Future competition at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimao, Portugal.

The event begins with practice on Thursday followed by qualifying and the first of four heats on Friday. The remaining three heats run on Saturday with the last chance race, pre-final and final on Sunday.

TIMETABLE

LIVE TIMING – Friday, Saturday & Sunday

LIVESTREAM – Saturday & Sunday

RESULTS – Friday, Saturday & Sunday

 

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Teenage Irish Karting Star to tackle World Championship at Portuguese Grand Prix venue

Irish Kart Racing star Alex Dunne, from Clonbullogue, will be back in action over the coming weeks as he tackles two events over two weekends at Portimao, the 2020 Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix venue, to finish off his shortened 2020 season.

Ireland’s only International Karting competitor will tackle the ‘OK’ World Championship from November 5th to 8th at the Algarve track, following a warm-up ‘Champions of the Future’ event the previous weekend at the same venue. The former European Junior Karting front runner is looking to use the Portuguese double header to get back to the front of the pack as he completes his first year in senior Karting competition.

The shortened 2020 season has seen the Offaly teenager compete in just two European Championship events, with strong showings in both. Despite his limited running, Alex’s performances led to him being offered a drive with the Energy Kart team for the two end of season races. His first experience of the team came at a recent, very successful, test in Italy and he will now line up as an Energy Kart factory driver at the Future Stars and World Championship events.

2020 is Dunne’s first year in Senior racing and at just fourteen years old he will be one of the youngest drivers competing in the ‘OK’ World Championship. Senior racing classes are contested by drivers from fourteen years old and upwards and many of the drivers the Irish racer will compete against are much older, full time professional Kart racers, with years of experience under their belts.

Alex has previously raced against many of this seasons’ world championship line-up, in the OK Junior category, and knows that he can compete at the front, having taken wins in heats and finals against similar opposition. Being part of the factory Energy Kart team has given the Senior racing rookie some new motivation and he is looking forward to getting back to the form that saw him challenge at the front throughout the 2019 European Karting Championship.

“It’s great to be going back to a World Championship Karting event for the first time since 2018, especially having missed out on so many races this year due to the global pandemic”. Said Alex on the announcement that he would be joining Energy Kart in Portugal. “I’m very happy to have linked up with Energy for these two events and I’m going there looking to repay them by challenging for the World title. I have to thank the team and all of my supporters who have helped to make this happen, particularly Reynolds Logistics, VTL, Artisan marble and NEA designs for sticking with me during such an unusual season.”

Alex’s progress in Portugal can be followed on livestreams from both events. Updates on his progress and links to results and live timing will be available here on his web site during the events.

Alex Dunne completes competitive European Karting championship season at Le Mans

Alex Dunne completed his 2019 European OK-Junior Karting Championship campaign with another highly competitive performance at Le Mans, France, over the weekend of July 19th to 21st. Ireland’s top International Kart Racer once again showed great pace as he ran at the front throughout the event, to pick up another heat win and two more podium finishes, before being heartbreakingly pushed off the track on the last lap of the final. Despite his non-finish at Le Mans the Clonbullogue youngster still collected an impressive seventh place in the final European Championship standings.

The Le Mans weekend started well with Alex just over a tenth of a second off the fastest time in qualifying to give him a second row start for all five of his heats. Getting away strongly in his first race the Newbridge College student continued his strong form and was challenging for the top spot on lap two when the leader moved across on him taking both drivers out of the race and effectively ending Alex’s hopes of lifting the title, as the youngster explains. “I went into the weekend with the possibility of winning the Championship but I really needed to score as many points in qualifying as I could and start on the front two rows of the final to be in with a chance. The incident in heat one reduced my chances of scoring points during qualifying and meant a lower starting position for the final race leaving second place as the best I could achieve.”

Starting race two the Irish driver knew he needed a strong finish to make up for the opening heat and made short work of moving up to second place before taking the lead at half distance and holding on for his fifth heat win of the year. Race three took place on a very wet track and with Alex knowing he could not afford another non-finish, he took a steady approach to finish third, while a number of his rivals crashed out. Heat four saw Alex straight into the lead when the flag dropped, but he was caught and bumped down the order at half distance before fighting back strongly to finish a very close second.

Sunday mornings fifth heat saw Alex take the decision to start on used tyres, saving his last new set for the final. Initially this put him down the order as the drivers on new tyres battled to grab the remaining places in the final. Having run as low as eighth, Alex then drove a mature race to climb back to fourth and clinch twelfth on the grid for the final, a fantastic achievement considering his heat one non-finish.

With the final being almost double the length of the heats, Alex stayed out of trouble in the early laps, dropping back to fourteenth, before picking his rivals off one by one and tagging onto the back of the group fighting for fourth place going into the final three laps. As the Offaly youngster made his move on the final lap he was pushed off by an overly defensive move by his rival, ending his 2019 championship assault before the chequered flag.

Despite the disappointment of his non-finish in the final, Alex left the French round very happy with his progress across the season. A superb second place at round two, along with a tally of five heat wins among thirteen podium finishes, marked the Irish youngster as one of the strongest performers in the series and kept him in contention at the top of the championship standings right up till his exit from the Le Mans final.

Speaking after the completion of the European series Alex said “We had great pace once again this weekend and I was delighted to pick up another race win and three more podiums. I knew it was going to be difficult once I had the non-finish in race one, but my performances after that showed just what could have been with a little more luck. Crashing out of the final due to someone else’s mistake was disappointing but overall the weekend has left me feeling good about my chances for the remaining races this year including the World Championship.”

With the European Championship now complete Alex Dunne will turn his focus towards the build up to the OK-Junior World Championship which takes place in Alahärmä, Finland in early September.