Now the 2015 Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship is over it's time for a well earned rest!
It's been a great year for me. Winning my first ever MI final in Cork this year was a fantastic experience and then to end the day with two race wins along with second place finishes in both heats made it one of the best days of my life. Following that up with my third win at the next round in Athboy gave me so much more confidence in my abilities and made me want to try even harder for that next win.
I also picked up the John Brennan Award from the Irish Karting Club at this year's C Plate meeting. It was presented for sportsmanship in karting and I was shocked to hear my name called out at the prizegiving.
They were the highlights of the year. Unfortunately the second half of the season didn't go as well as the first. I grew a bit over the summer and that pushed us over the minimum weight limit for the kart so we struggled a lot with setting the kart up and getting the power down out of the corners. Having no lead on the kart did make it easier to lift on and off the trolley though, so it wasn't all bad! While it didn't go to plan, I think I learned a lot from the experience and hopefully that will make me a better driver.
Moving up to Iame Ireland X30 Junior class for the final round of the Championship in Galway at the weekend was a great way to end the season. I was a bit nervous to go racing with boys who were all at least two years older than me, but I was also excited to get out and race. With no pressure for championship points I was able to go out and just enjoy myself.
Apart from the size of the kart, the biggest difference from my Cadet kart is the power and grip. It is so much faster and the tyres have a lot more grip. After testing on Friday and Saturday my arms and shoulders were getting sore, but I'll get used to that. By the end of the day's racing I had improved my lap times by almost three seconds and in the second final was just over two tenths off the fastest lap of Sean McMahon who won both heats and both finals.
There's still a lot to learn about the new kart, but with a ninth and an eighth in the two finals on my first day out I think I can be happy with that and I'm already looking forward to next year.