Alex continues to impresses in European Karting Championship

Teenage Irish Karting sensation, Alex Dunne, continued to impress as he tackled round two of the European OK Junior Championship in Genk, Belgium, over the weekend of May 17th to 19th.

The Offaly youngster put together his strongest weekend yet, taking three wins from five heats before fighting his way to second in the final, to move to third in the championship standings as the series reaches its half way mark.

Racing at the Belgian track for the first time, Dunne was in contention from the start as he took fifth place in qualifying, from a field of over ninety drivers, to ensure he would start from the front row of the grid in all of his heats. A flying start to his first heat saw Alex move into the lead on lap one and then hold on to take a lights to flag victory.

At the start of heat two the Newbridge College student dropped back to fourth, but he soon reasserted himself and was back in the lead by half distance, from where he took a comfortable second victory. Heat three was one of the toughest for the Clonbullogue resident and having led initially he got bumped back down the order to third. Another determined performance saw him fight back to second but he ran out of time in the short nine lap heat and had to settle for the runner-up spot.

The fourth heat once again saw Alex get away in the lead group and he gradually picked up places, moving into second spot in the closing laps. light rain began to fall with two laps to go making conditions very tricky for the drivers, who were all on slick tyres. Alex had settled for getting safely home in second but a downpour during the final lap caught out the leader and most of the rest of the field, as Alex used all of his skill to keep his Kart on track and survived to take his third heat win of the day.

Going in to Sunday’s final heat Alex knew that a top six finish would be enough to get a front row start for the final. With many of his rivals pushing hard for final places, the thirteen year old drove a mature race, allowing his rivals to battle for the win while he picked up fifth to secure second on the grid for the final.

Having had an excellent set-up on his Tony Kart throughout the heats Alex went into the extended, nineteen lap final, full of confidence. A superb start saw the Irish driver sitting second for the first four laps before he made his move for the lead. Taking over at the front at the beginning of lap five, Alex then pulled out a comfortable advantage which he maintained for much of the race. As the laps counted down however Alex’s Kart set up, which had worked so well all weekend, left him unable to maintain his pace for the longer race distance and he lost the lead with just two laps to go.

At the flag the youngster was obviously disappointed at missing out on his first European Championship win but was still very happy with his weekends work. “I have to thank my team for giving me such a great Kart all weekend” said Alex after the final. “The set up we had enabled me to take three heat wins and a front row starting position for the final. I know now that working with the Tony Kart team my first win is not far away. We are in a great position in the championship now, so we’ll move on to the next round in Sweden and hopefully go one better and take the win.”

The next European Karting championship outing for Alex Dunne is in Kristianstad, Sweden, from May 30th to June 2nd.

Alex achieves best FIA European Karting Championship result

Ireland’s only representative in the FIA European Karting Championship, Offaly based teenager Alex Dunne, achieved his best finish so far in the hugely competitive series at the opening round of the 2019 championship at Angerville, France over the weekend of April 19th -21st. Following a heat win and two more podium finishes Alex drove brilliantly in the final to climb from twelfth on the starting grid to seventh at the finish.

Racing in the OK Junior category, for the works Tony Kart team, the young Irishman continued his International Karting progress, with third place in Friday’s qualifying to ensure that he lined up on the front row of the grid for all of his heats.

The first of five nine lap heats, on Saturday morning, saw the Clonbullogue resident get his weekend off to a strong start as he took second place following a race long battle. His second outing was looking likely to produce a similar result as he again sat second, until a crash while challenging for the lead put him out of the race and left him needing some strong results in his remaining heats if he was to make the all important final.

Heat three saw the Newbridge College student back on top form as he took his second European Championship race win. Having led for the entire race distance and built a gap of over a second, Alex was able to ease off in the final couple of laps to take a comfortable victory. The Irish youngster backed his win up next time out, in the last of four heats on Saturday, with another podium finish, before a steady fourth place in Sunday morning’s last heat, saw him safely through to the decider.

A strong start to the final saw Alex making up places straight away as he avoided the first corner carnage to sit ninth. By lap two the Irish star had moved up to seventh and by the end of lap four he was sixth. Despite making up places early on, Alex was unable to maintain his progress through the highly competitive field over the remainder of the twenty one lap final and finished up a slightly disappointed seventh at the flag.

Speaking after the FIA European season opener Alex said “I’m really happy to have taken another race win and my best ever European Championship finish but it could have been even better. This championship is really tough as the best young Karters in the world are all here. Making up any places in the final is really tough as we are all so close in terms of performance, so I was delighted to make it from twelfth to seventh. I felt that I was driving well and team gave me a strong Kart but that one non-finish was disappointing as it just makes fighting for the podium so much harder. Overall we have to be happy with eighth in the championship as it gives us a good start to build on over the remaining three rounds.”

Alex Dunne will return to FIA European Karting Championship action in five weeks time in Genk, Belgium but his next outing is in the WSK Euro Series, once again in Angerville, next weekend.

Alex Dunne impresses at WSK Euro Series opener

Offaly based teenager Alex Dunne made an impressive start to the 2019 European Karting Championship at the Sarno circuit in southern Italy this weekend, as he took three wins from his four heats, fastest race lap and second in the Pre-Final. Unfortunately for the young Irish racer he was taken out in the final, bringing a premature end to his very positive weekend.

Friday’s qualifying saw Alex right on the pace as he continued to get used to his new Tony Kart team. On only his second event with the Italian outfit he finished fastest in Group 1 with second quickest time overall, to put him on the front row of the grid for all of his heats.

Friday’s first race saw the Clonbullogue resident start from pole and he was never headed as won by almost a second. For race two Alex sat second on the grid, behind the fastest driver from qualifying. Away from the lights the Irish driver was comfortable in second place and stayed there until lap three when he moved past to take a lead he would hold onto until the chequered flag.

Heat three saw Alex again leading from lights to flag, this time building up a huge winning margin by Karting standards of 2.5 seconds. Alex also initially led the fourth heat but on lap four he was overtaken for the first time all weekend and dropped to third. The Tony Kart driver was soon back to second and fighting for the top spot but a small mistake on lap eight, while right on the tail of the leader, saw him run off the track and drop to twentieth at the flag.

Dunne’s heat four finish meant a third row start for the Pre-Final. Once the lights changed to green the teenager once again showed his ability as he battled back to second by the flag to line up fourth for the final.

The final started well, with Alex running strongly at the tail of the lead group. As the leaders battled, the field began to close and Alex was caught by the leader of the chasing pack, who on closing the gap, immediately attempted an impossible overtaking manoeuvre, knocking the Irish driver out of the final.

Despite failing to finish the final Alex Dunne left the European Championship opener with his best ever position in the standings, as his points from the Heats and Pre-Final were enough to leave him seventh overall. Next up for the youngster is the CIK European Championship opening round at Angerville, France, on April 18th – 21st.

Another positive weekend for Irish Kart Racing Star Alex Dunne

Racing in the Winter Cup in Garda, Italy, rising Irish Karting Star Alex Dunne had another very positive weekend as he builds towards his second season in the European Karting Championship. Having shown excellent pace throughout the event the teenager left the track with renewed confidence, despite failing to finish the final, where he was knocked out of the race while challenging for a podium position.

The Dublin born teenager who now lives in County Offaly had one of his strongest weekends of his Karting career so far, as he qualified on the front row of the grid for his four heats. Racing in a very competitive field, Alex started steadily in each of the qualifying races before battling his way up to second place in the first three races and then hitting the top spot in the final heat.

The Newbridge college students’ performances in the heats left him second of the almost ninety drivers taking part, giving him pole position for Super Heat two, the results of which would be added to the heat results to decide the final grid. Alex’s Super Heat started well, as he led the opening couple of laps, but it soon became obvious that he was struggling as he was constantly defending his position. Eventually the pressure told and one by one his rivals found a way past as he dropped to tenth place due to a down on power engine.

With a new motor installed for the final, Alex was looking strong again and was in the thick of the lead battle straight away. Initially up to fourth, the Clonbullogue youngster was pushed back to fifth on lap two but remained firmly in contention. As he lined up a move back to fourth place at the end of lap three, a coming together between the two drivers in front of him saw one spin across the road into his path, taking Alex out of the race.

Despite his non-finish Alex was delighted with the way the weekend went, saying “The weekend was really good right up until the final. I went well in qualifying and drove consistently well through the heats so there are lots of positives to take away from the event. The engine problem in the Super Heat dropped me back a bit for the final, but I was feeling really good and ready to move towards the front when I was unlucky to get caught up in someone else’s accident. We’ll be back here in less than a week for the second round of the Super Masters Series and I aim to be right back at the front once again.”

Tough weekend in Italy for Irish Karting Star Alex Dunne

The opening round of the WSK Super Masters Series, at Adria in Italy, was a tough one for Irish Karting star Alex Dunne. Having been fastest in pre-event testing, his race weekend was almost ruined by mechanical issues and contact from his rivals, before a brilliant recovery drive nabbed him eighteenth place in the final.

Qualifying took place in the wet, meaning a change of Kart, and Alex was not as happy with the wet weather chassis as he had been with his normal one, leading to seventh fastest time for the Offaly teenager. The opening heat also took place on a wet but drying track and Alex performed well in the difficult conditions to climb as high as fourth before eventually finishing fifth. Similar conditions in heat two saw Alex again run as high as fourth, but towards the end of the heat he began to struggle for pace and dropped down to eighth at the flag. Alex’s drop off in performance was later explained when the team found that his chassis had broken, meaning a quick repair was required before the third heat.

Heat three was the turning point of the weekend for the Offaly racer as a non-finish, caused by being rammed from behind, interrupted his string of competitive performances and damaged his chances of a good starting position in the pre-final. The heat three non-finish meant Alex went into the final heat with an untried set -up on his Kart and despite initially making progress he once again dropped down the order as he adapted to the different feel of his chassis, eventually finishing fourteenth.

When the heat results were combined the Irish youngster was left in thirtieth place and with a lot of work to do from the eighth row of the grid in the pre-final. With his Kart now adapted to the conditions, a strong performance in the pre-final moved Alex up the order to ninth putting him safely into the all important final.

The last race of the weekend was the most competitive of all for the Clonbullogue native. A steady start was ruined on lap four when contact from behind put him off the road and down to twenty third position. A brilliant recovery drive, which included sixth fastest race lap, moved him back to thirteenth place on the road but a penalty for non conforming bodywork, caused by being hit from behind, dropped to eighteenth at the flag.

“That was a tough weekend” said Alex after the event. “We usually have good pace in the wet but I was struggling to keep my pace up in the opening two heats until we discovered that the chassis was broken. We got the Kart back in good shape by the pre-final and my strongest run was in the final. I had the pace of the front runners and I was confident I could have finished in the top five if I hadn’t been knocked off. It was an up and down weekend but my performance in the final was very positive so I can only look forward now to my next outing in two weeks time.”

Alex will be back in action in a non-championship race at Lake Garda in two weeks, before returning to Adria for round two of the WSK Super Masters Series the following weekend. To keep track of Alex’s progress see his web site where you can find links to live streams and results from all of his races.

Alex takes first International Karting win

Alex Dunne once again lived up to his billing as Ireland’s top International Kart Racer as he kicked off his 2019 season in style in Adria, Italy. Racing in the one-off WSK Champions Cup race, the thirteen year old Newbridge College student took his first ever outright European win as he dominated the final of the ‘OKJ’ Junior category.

Having made his début in the WSK series in 2018, Alex was knocking on the door of a maiden win all through last season. Strong performances saw him take heat wins and fastest race laps, but the outright win never quite came. Going into this season, his first aim was to take victory in a final and with that already achieved the youngster will head back to Italy next week full of confidence for his first championship race of the year.

The Champions Cup weekend began steadily for Alex as he took eighth place in qualifying, from more than fifty drivers, giving him a second row start for each of his four heats. The youngster was then on top form in his first heat as he hit the front by the end of lap one and was never headed, getting his season off to the best possible start.

Heat two saw Alex again running at the front before a last lap sort out dropped him to fourth place. Heat three proved to be the toughest so far for the youngster as he took till half distance to work his way into second place. By the time he did, the leader was two seconds up the road and he had to settle for the runner-up spot and another podium finish. The final heat saw the Irishman make his worst start of the weekend dropping him to sixth, but an excellent fightback saw him again finish in fourth place less than two tenths of second off another podium.

Dunne’s impressive run through the heats was good enough to clinch second on the grid for his pre-final, which would decide the grid positions for the final. Following yet another good getaway, a fast and consistent race saw him retain his starting position as he came home second, well clear of the third placed driver, to secure a second row start for the final.

The final had the biggest and most competitive field of the weekend with the thirty four fastest drivers taking part. Alex was un-fazed by the additional competition and was once again in determined mood as he took second place right from the start. Having been briefly bumped back down to third he then got into his stride as he moved back into second and closed on the leader, before taking over at the front on lap six. Over the remaining ten laps the teenager built a big enough lead to allow him to ease off and control the gap as he cruised to his maiden outright win.

Speaking after the race, Alex said “It feels great to get my first win. I’ve had the pace for a long time and now its really started to come together. I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone in my team, Forza Racing, for all their help this weekend and especially my mechanic Stuart. This victory has really set me up to challenge for championship wins this year and we’ll be going all out for more when we return to Adria again next weekend.”

Alex Dunne heads back to the scene of his victory in less than a week, as he returns to the Adria circuit for the first of four rounds of the WSK Super Masters Series.

Alex Dunne is top Irish Junior Karter at Le Mans International Final

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.

Le Mans up next for top Irish Kart Racer Alex Dunne

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 during the event or you can follow Alex on facebook and instagram. For more information on Alex see