Rhys Irwin in action
14-year-old Rhys Irwin from Kilmacrennan has had the season that most young riders only dream of. He travelled with his race team to Cadwell Park back in march to what can only be described as his assault on the British Championship.
The first time he sat on his Scott Racing Ltd Race Aprilia was on the grid of the most successful and famous one make series in the World. At his first race weekend he had no less than 4 podium finishes at this iconic championship. Not alone did he push all the boundaries being the third Irish Rider in its 20 year history to win a British Superteens Race, he kept pushing going on to win and win and win enjoying no less than 7 wins and 25 podium finishes leaving him the most successful Irish rider ever to race the Superteens.
This bubbly teen pushed it out to the wire this weekend in the UK with the Championship being decided under nail biting conditions. It just wasn't to be with a DNF in race 1 being taken out by the other championship contender resulting in a stewards investigation, P2 in race 2, an engine failure in race three resulting in a DNF, saw this gutsy teen show maturity well beyond his years keeping his cool and winning the last race by a staggering 20 second margin. With only 1 point separating the 1st and 2nd place overall winners, the Championship was never so tightly contested of which young Irwin can be forever proud. At 14 he was the lesser experienced to his 17 year old rival but what a champion Rhys is.
From the top step of the final podium of the year a crestfallen Rhys showing true sportsmanship offered congratulations to the Championship winner and thanked all those who had helped him get to where he was. He thanked Trevor of Scott Racing Ltd for a wonderful year and team mechanics his dad Ivan and Garry Fleming for a pitch perfect set up all season. He paid tribute to his older brother Caolán racing in the British Aprilia 450cc Championship for all the advice and support throughout the year.
When asked would he be contesting the Superteens next season Rhys said that as one of the youngest contenders there this year he could race the Superteens Championship for another 5 years, however, he felt that to progress on to the top of his sport he would have to keep pushing forward taking on the challenge of a more powerful bike even though still only 14.
Rhys wanted to especially thank James Gallagher of Oasis Bar Letterkenny for his ongoing dedication to himself and his brother Caolán for his ongoing financial backing and unwavering support for many years. He also thanked Wesley and Grace Ann Regan of Clean Tyres Sligo/Donegal, Uncle Eustace Joe Macs Portadown, Denis Sheridan of DS waste Kilmacrennan and Mairtín Kelly of Kelly's Centra Mountain Top.
Meanwhile brother Caolán 18 also put on a stunning performance getting his second British win of the season and a closely fought 2nd place these young brothers have certainly taken the UK by storm.
The team would like to take this opportunity for all the good wishes and support they have enjoyed, especially the teachers at Loreto Convent, Milford for the extra time and support given to both Rhys studying for his Junior Cert and ex pupil Caolán while studying for his Leaving Cert. Also they would like to wish Rhys all the best travelling to the prestigious Red Bull Rookies Moto GP trials in Spain this week as one of 100 riders selected from around the World out of 3,500 applicants and the only Irish rider to be selected.