You may think Transition Year girls tend to spend their days dreaming about One Direction and lipstick, but one Coill Dubh 15 year old is set to upset such frivolous notions.
Sophie Byrne, a student at Kings Hospital Palmerstown drove herself into the record books at Mondello Park last Monday, October 31, when she was the youngest lady driver ever to win a car race there.
Driving her Nissan Micra in atrocious conditions, she won two heats before charging back from fifth place in the final to take the lead with a lap to go.
It’s no great surprise given that her father Alan runs ABR, a company that looks after racing cars and her mother, Gillian Austen, is also a former driver.
Junior Rallycross is open to teenagers between the ages of 14 to 16.
The cars must have a one litre engine and they are mainly Nissan Micras or the occasional Toyota Starlet.
“It’s a new class in the last couple of years and it’s very popular,” Mondello’s Leo Nulty explained. Races consist of three heats, which are three laps each, with a final of five laps.
“She is very impressive,” Leo said. “She is clearly a talent to watch for the future.”
Sophie’s Dad, Alan, explained that both Sophie and her brother, 17 year old Jake race rallycross as well as in the Ginetta Class.
“Both of them race, unforuntely, for our sins! They both love it.” Alan said.
“Our youngest daughter Holly, who is 10, is the only one in the family who doesn’t race, but it’s only a matter of time.”
So, is Sophie interested in making a career out of racing?
“If she got half a chance she would!” he said.