by Brendan White
His enthusiasm for karting is clear to see, but for 2011/12 DCU Karting chairperson Jeff Dalton, he has been tasked with the challenge of leading the club to more success after recent triumph at home and cross-channel have propelled the society to the fore of DCU clubs and societies.
As the second largest club or society last year, they already have over 400 students signed up for the coming year and, although down on last year, it still represents a sizeable number. By 1pm on Tuesday on Clubs and Socs day, the club had already filled the full 100 places available for its first tip. An indication of the popularity of the club.
“We offer some of the best deals in DCU”, chairperson Dalton said of the trips they organise every week and a half. “For a typical Grand Prix in Kartcity, our price is just €15. Nobody has to go every week, but when people hear its only €15 they jump at the society. Weekend trips are more expensive but we always try making it as affordable as possible. We usually go to about nine or ten tracks from Cork, Galway, Dublin, Longford and Louth.”
The Intervarsity’s in March was the first success of the year where the DCU ‘A’ team were victorious in claiming first place, with Dalton explaining the procedure. “Round One was in Edgeworthstown but we didn’t really perform”, he explained. “The other rounds were in Newry and Cork with the final round in DCU which we held in Kartcity. We were in third behind DIT’s ‘A’ team and Cork IT ‘A’ team, but when we got to DCU, our home track, we obliterated everybody else.”
“In the final we had our five ‘A’ team drivers, so five of the nine drivers that made the final were all from the DCU ‘A’ team. We scored really high points and went from third to first and won it. That was a really good buzz and we showed everyone who’s boss”, Dalton joked.
Their major achievement, however, came in August this year with a third place in the British 24hour Endurance Karting event, the highlight of the society’s achievements to date. The race took place in Teesside Autodrome, Middlesbrough, on one of the largest purposely built tracks in Europe.
“There’s professional teams that enter of a really high standard. There’s teams from all over Europe, Cyprus, Belgium, France and Portugal, with two teams from DCU and one from DIT.”
“This year was our most successful year for our ‘A’ team”, Dalton said. “Even though we had a few problems, we still manager to get third overall. We did have a carburetor failure on one of our engines about six hours into the race. We were 2nd at the time and dropped back but we raced back up to third.
“Overall we were delighted, we went over from Friday to Monday and then a celebratory night up in Newcastle on the last night. It’s not only the drivers; it’s a society trip for everyone.”
The message from the new chairperson is simple, get involved. “I want to encourage as many people who haven’t joined the society to go up to the SU and join. Our weekend trips are a highlight and we hope to see as many people racing and becoming the next Sebastian Vettel. Our next trip is to Kylemore in Ballyfermot on the 19th.”
There are also plans for a triple club event in the near future involving the Snowsports and the Surf and Sail clubs for a day for members to try their hand at other sports.
Image by Tracey Smyth