ON what was his last race in the Cadet category before he moves up to the Iame X-30 Junior grade, Ballymakeery’s Keith Grant won his first-ever kart race when he took the chequered flag in the final race of the recent 2022 Motorsport Ireland Kart Championships in Whiteriver Park, Collon, County Louth.
The 12-year-old began the morning down in seventh place in the first heat after he incurred a five-second penalty for a yellow flag incident. It dropped him from second place. He finished third in the second heat some two seconds behind heat winner Nass karter Tadgh Buckley, a grandson of West Cork Rally winner Ger Buckley.
In the pre-final a consistent Grant netted second and qualified off-pole for the final where Waterford’s Ben McCloughrey was on pole. In the final, Grant led from the start and won in a time of 11 minutes and 17.368 seconds, 3.137 seconds ahead of Northern Ireland’s Kenzie McNally, who was followed by Tadgh Buckley, another 0.866 seconds behind.
There was further local success when Ballylickey’s Robert Cronin won the Rotax Senior Max race. He took second in the first heat, where he recorded a speed of 84.578km/hr. He was also second in the second heat to qualify off pole. In the final he took an impressive win, finishing 5.111 seconds ahead of Jack Graham. Ballyvourney’s Anthony O’Connell and Clonakilty’s Aidan Hennessy were sixth and eighth respectively.
In the Iame X-30 Juniors, Colin Cronin had a spin in the pre-final that put him down in row seven (13th) for the final grid. He finished tenth after the addition of a bumper penalty. Clonakilty’s Ronan Hennessy was 12th. In terms of the MI Kart Championships, Keith Grant finished second in the Cadets, Colin Cronin was second in the Iame X-30 Juniors and Colin Cronin was third in the Rotax Senior Max.