News - June 9th 2020 - Happy 16th Birthday Alyx!

Kart racer Alyx Coby, from Newbridge, Co. Kildare, turns 16 today and we will take a look back at her racing career to date.

She had expected to be half way through her first full season in the IAME X30 Senior class of the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship by now however, as with all other sports at the minute, those plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 lockdown. She is hoping to get back on track soon but, in the meantime, we’ll take a look back at her racing career to date.

Alyx began racing in the Cadet class at the age of 8, but it would be fair to say that she was always going to end up in a kart. Her father, Gary, and uncle Aaron had raced with the family race team, Coby Motorsport, from an early age and she had practically grown up in the karting paddock. She will tell you that some of her earliest memories are of sitting outside the team awning with her mother watching the racing.

Alyx’s first race was in February 2013 and was followed a few weeks later with her first race in the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship in Cork where she won the “Black Plate” final to take home Munster Karting Club’s O Plate and she followed this up with a second “Black Plate” victory at the end of the season, once again in Cork.

After two seasons building her skills and securing top ten finishes, 2015 was when the hard work began to pay off for Alyx. Following fifth and fourth place finishes in the opening two rounds of the season, including two fastest laps, it was the third round of the Championship at Watergrasshill in Cork where it all came together for her. She started the day with second place finishes in both heats before going on to take victory in both the pre-final and final, along with securing the fastest lap in three of that day’s four races. Not only was this Alyx’s first victory in a Motorsport Ireland final, it was also the first time a girl had won a Motorsport Ireland karting final at cadet level and she remains the only girl to do so to date.

Another final win at the next round of the Championship saw her in second place in the standings at the half way point in the season, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be by the of the season as Alyx grew too tall over the summer, upsetting the balance in the kart and leaving her unable to build on the performance shown in the first half of the season, finishing the season in 5th place.

Alyx moved up to the IAME X30 Junior class for the final round of the 2015 Championship and with plenty of testing over the Winter was on the pace for her first full year in the junior class in 2016, securing podium finishes, and ended the season in 6th place.

2017 saw her finish off the podium only twice and setting the fastest lap on four occasions, including setting the lap record around Mondello Park’s Junior Karting Circuit on the sport’s return to the venue after an absence of over a decade and she finished the season in third place.

With her third place finish in the Championship Alyx secured a place at the prestigious IAME International Finals at Le Mans in France to compete against over 150 of the best junior drivers in the world – the first Irish girl to compete at the event.

2018 went much the same way as the previous year with seven podium finishes, including one victory, and six fastest laps with another third place finish in the Championship. Alyx also made return visit to the IAME International Finals.

That season also saw Alyx take on a new challenge by joining the F100UK championship featuring vintage karts from the 1990s, what many purists consider to be the golden age of karting. With 100cc air-cooled engines revving to almost 20,000RPM these are a far cry from the karts Alyx had been used to racing, but she took to it immediately and won the British O-Plate on her first outing at Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland. A second outing at GYG in North Wales towards the end of the year saw her complete another clean sweep to come home with not only a victory, but also a driver of the day award. Clashes with national racing meant she was unable to take part in additional races, but she really wants to make a return to race with them in the senior class.

2019 was to be Alyx’s final year in the IAME X30 Junior class and she started the season with high hopes after securing pole position along with third plane and a win in both finals at Munster Kart Club’s pre-season O-Plate meeting. Unfortunately, the season didn’t go her way and she failed to finish several races, mainly due to getting caught in other people’s accidents.

Putting that disappointment behind her, Alyx visited South Garda Karting in Lonato, Italy to compete in her first IAME X30 Senior race – jumping in at the deep end! With a couple of days testing behind her she just missed out on a spot in the A final, not a bad achievement considering it was her first senior race.

Alyx had been testing regularly and competing with Leinster and Tullyallen Karting Clubs over the winter and also paid a visit to Whilton Mill in the UK back in February to prepare for the challenge of racing against Ireland’s top drivers in the Senior X30 class. The prospects for the Motorsport Ireland Championship are still unclear with an announcement expected in the coming weeks but in the meantime Alyx is can’t wait to get back in the kart for testing now the tracks are beginning to reopen.

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