Monday, February 29, 2016

The Irish girl racing to the top of her karting class

karting alyx coby ireland
Alyx Coby PIC via Alyx

On Sunday 11 year old Alyx Coby starts her first full season in the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship, hutling around tracks at 100km/hr.  Already with three years experience  behind her in the Cadet class, the kid from Kildare isn’t too bothered at being the youngest and the only girl in her class. 

Karting is a fast motor-sport in open vehicles called karts (no surprise). In Ireland you can start at eight years of age, but it’s mostly boys you see out there, mostly.

It took a while to catch up with Alyx cause you know homework but this is what she had to say (be prepared for feelings of inspiration):

Clearly a bit of a speed demon already, she said:  "The most fun thing is the speed. My kart will do over 100km/h and it’s really hard to describe the feeling to somebody who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. I also really enjoy the time I get to spend with my dad.

"He runs our race team so we spend a lot of time together travelling to different tracks, testing, going to races and even just working on the kart in the workshop or talking through races afterwards."

As you’ll know from this blog I’m a HUGE fan of sport for kids, but you don’t often meet children or teens who’ve thought that through, until now …

Alyx said: "The most challenging thing is when I go testing. Rather than trying to make everything better all at once I have to work on improving just one thing over and over until I get it right before moving on to the next thing.

"Finding the right braking point for a corner or when to put the power down or even something as simple as making sure I’m sitting in the right position. Sometimes we might spend a whole day doing that one thing to make sure it is perfect. 

"After a while it gets really boring, but you have to put in the effort to get the results and even the smallest thing can make a huge improvement."

karting alyx coby ireland
Alex Coby in action PIC via
That determination is a big part of her plans for this year, she said. The karts are bigger with a 125cc IAME engine but so are her dreams.

"It shouldn’t matter that I am a girl, but sometimes I feel there is more pressure on me to prove myself because I am a girl.

"For the 2016 season I'm not just the only girl in my class, I'll also be the youngest driver. I think being so young is a bigger obstacle to being accepted than being a girl, but all I can do is try my best and prove that I am just as good as they are."

Well exactly, and what better preparation for adulthood could there be? Glass ceilings look out if this is the next generation of Irish girls.

She’s focused on the Championships for now, but does have big plans for the future, saying: "When I’m older I would love to race cars and, who knows, maybe go all the way to F1, but for now karting is all I want to do and there’s still a lot to learn. 

"My ambition is to win the Motorsport Ireland Karting Championship."

Keep up with Alyx Coby on her Facebook page and website.

karting alyx coby ireland
Jensen Button, eat your heart out! Alyx Coby in the pit PIC via


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