My First Year in Formula Vee – with Jack Byrne

Jack at speed in his Sheane at Mondello Park - image from Con Connolly.

Jack at speed in his Sheane at Mondello Park – Image from Con Connolly.

My name is Jack Byrne, I’m 16 years old and I have just had one of the best years of my life and that was racing in Formula Vee. It’s a fantastic class to be a part of.

I started out at the age of 10 racing in Karting as a Cadet. I was introduced to racing because my dad was racing Formula VEE and my best friend was Karting. I had a ball driving around fast but as I’m quite tall I was always too heavy to beat the small guys.

As I had the racing bug my dad searched the options available to me and we decided on Auto-grass. We bought a Junior Special buggy and I had a blast, picking up many race wins and even a championship. This is where I learned how to control a car at speed and on a slippery surface this has stood to me to date. I was still counting down the days until I could race a Vee like my dad, though! I grew up on the tracks of Mondello, Brands Hatch, Anglesey, Bishopscourt and Kirkistown as the pit crew for my dad.

The 6th of April 2013 was my first ever race in a Formula Vee, I got to test the day before the race, and this was my first time being round Kirkistown in a car. I was very nervous but still excited.

My first race was in the B+C race, which the Formula Vee started in 2013. I will never forget the start when the lights changed and down into the first corner! I got around it without getting into trouble and then the real racing started. In the end I finished 4th. This class was a mix of experienced and novice drivers. It was a dream start to my Formula Vee career on top of that I beat my dad in my very first race!! When I finished my first race I was buzzing and knew straight away that this is what I wanted to do

Throughout the year I finished 1st or 2nd in every race except when I missed the two rounds in Bishopscourt and the race that may have cost me the championship when I had engine trouble in Kirkistown and was unable to finish the race.

I had a great but hard years racing. I’ve had my fair share of battles and crashes, enough to teach me how to race although I still have a lot to learn over the next few seasons.

I appreciate that I am very lucky to compete in an activity that I love and without the amazing support from my parents, sister and best friend that wouldn’t happen.

I am looking forward to next season which I know will be a tough one competing for the ‘B’ championship, This is a whole new level.

As a Young racing driver in January 2014 I would love to encourage anyone who is interested in driving and driving at speed in control to join Motorsport Ireland and do your fast driving on a track. Formula Vee is a fantastic place to start. And with a great bunch of lads that are out there to enjoy themselves. These lads have all helped me out this year and this is what Formula Vee is all about.

Looking forward to the new 2014 year I hope to at least make a few podiums and maybe even a win would be great.

See you in 2014,

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