Young Irish karter Charlie Eastwood won the Rotax Max World Championships which took place last weekend at the Kartodromo International Circuit in the Algarve, Portugal.

The 17-year-old, who qualified to represent Ireland with Shane Daly and Gary Donnelly after finishing runner up in the British Karting Championship earlier this year, won the senior race in Portugal to become Ireland’s first Karting World Champion.

The young Belfast driver had to compete over five days with practices, heats and finals before taking the Championship.

Competing with 276 drivers from across the world, Eastwood started slowly with a fourth place finish in heat one, followed by a second place finish in heat two.

A third place finish in heat three saw him start the pre-final on P2 and surprised many of those competing by finishing in second position.However, it was in the final where the Motorsport Ireland driver showed his class, taking the lead six laps before the end before holding on to take Ireland’s first World Karting Crown.

Eastwood found it tough going in the final, saying: “It was a hard fought race.

"The wind pushed the ones behind me which in turn helped them to run faster, so we had to overtake and re-overtake, several times.

"I needed to keep my first position and stay fast until the end. I had a little advantage which allowed me to achieve victory.”