Round 9 of the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship took place on the weekend of September 26-28 at Pallas Karting in Tynagh, Co. Galway.
After a strong start to the season where Alyx had been running as high as second in the Championship in the Cadet class, a mid season growth spurt unfortunately pushed Alyx over the 100KG combined minumum weight for driver and kart.
This meant that even running with no lead on the kart and even going as far as removing stickers from the kart and switching to a lighter race suit to try to save weight Alyx was still at a disadvantage compared to the younger, lighter drivers who needed to add ballast to make the minimum weight. Carrying this extra weight meant the kart was slower to get the power down out of corners and any advantage picked up under braking into corners was hard to defend on the way out. Having grown by three to four inches also meant extra drag on the long straights.
By the end of round 8, despite her best efforts to overcome the weight issues, Alyx found herself back in fifth place in the Championship - her best finish in her three seasons at Cadet level.
2015 was always going to be Alyx's final season in Cadet level, so with fifth place in the championship secured a decision was taken to move up to the new IAME X30 Junior class for the final round of the championship and get some valuable racing experience in ahead of next season.
Alyx had already had a couple of test sessions in Athboy, but this weekend would provide her with her first opportunity to see how she compared with the older drivers who had been racing in the class all season. Without the pressure of having to compete for championship position, it was also a chance to just go out and have fun in the kart.
Alyx was not only the first female driver to take part in the IAME X30 Junior class in Ireland, but at only 11 would be the youngest on the grid
At the beginning of the weekend Alyx was almost three seconds off the pace of the fastest drivers, but over the course of the day learned a lot about the kart and began to bring her times down. While the most visible difference between the Cadet and IAME X30 classes is the size of the kart, the IAME also comes with a bigger 125cc engine and the tyres have more grip. This took a bit of time for Alyx to get used to and by the end of the day she reported that her shoulders were getting sore from the extra effort required to get the kart through the corners.
The second day of testing saw Alyx's times improve further and while her shoulders were still hurting from the previous day's running, she fought through it any by the end of the day had taken another second off her best time.
Official practice on Sunday morning saw Alyx improve her times again to lap in 47.196 seconds and she went into her first ever IAME X30 Junior heat starting from sixth on the grid with five drivers who had been racing all year behind her. Before the race began Alyx said her biggest worry was getting caught up in a first corner incident with the more experienced drivers coming from behind. Briefly dropping back to tenth after the first corner Alyx found herself in a pack of four karts and picked up ninth spot after four laps to hold off the attacking drivers for the rest of the race. With a best lap of 45.831 seconds Alyx had improved by almost 1.4 seconds and was within six tenths of the race winner's best lap.
13th. 45.724 (44.924)
Spin lap 2
P10/14 on grid
P9/14 on grid
44.957 (44.723) fourth fastest
12th on lap 2
11th on lap 4
7th on lap 5
8th at finish on drag to line (7 karts 4th-10th)
age 11 (13)