13-year-old Alyx Coby, from Newbridge, Co. Kildare, was back on the grid in Athboy, Co. Meath at the weekend as the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship made its way to the circuit for Round 3 of the series.
With the tight and twisty layout of the track making overtaking challenging, achieving a good finish in the day’s two qualifying heats was going to be important.
Racing in the IAME X30 Junior class, for drivers aged 11-16, Alyx started the first heat in 10th position and then picked up one position per lap to run in 6th place by half distance. She was then locked in a battle with the 4th and 5th placed drivers, before eventually getting by both of them on the penultimate lap to take the chequered flag in 4th place.
The reverse grid for the second heat saw Alyx line up in 4th place at the start. Quickly moving up to 3rd place by the second corner, she then picked up another position with an overtake into the turn three hairpin. She fought hard to defend her position over the following laps before being overtaken at the final chicane and crossed the finish line in 3rd place.
Alyx started the first final in 4th place and was up to 3rd by the time the karts came out of the first corner. With the top three drivers all running to a similar pace it was a somewhat uneventful race at the front and she stayed in 3rd place to the finish.
That result saw the first year student from Gael Choláiste Chill Dara start in 3rd position for the day’s main final. With a good run into the first corner Alyx was up into 2nd place but then got tagged from behind under braking and pushed into the lead kart. She managed to keep control of the kart and came out of the corner still in 3rd position.
After fending off the chasing karts for the first lap, Alyx was able to pull away as they got caught up in their own battle. Much like in the first final, the top three were closely matched in lap times and she was unable to claw back the time lost in turn one before the end of the race, finishing in 3rd place.
A post-race five second time penalty for a dropped front bumper from the first corner collision looked like it might demote the Newbridge teenager further down the order, however she had done just enough to ensure she kept the position with a margin of just under six seconds to the 4th placed driver, securing her second podium finish of the season.
After three rounds Alyx has retained her third place position in the Championship and extended the gap to the rest of the field as the Championship moves on to Tynagh in Co. Galway at the end of June.
Photo credit: Marc Quinlivan