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2011 Billy Coleman Award

Posted: December 6, 2011 2:40 PM - 5215 Hits

Sam Moffett wins Billy Coleman Award / Craig Breen wins International Driver of the Year Award

Posted: December 6, 2011 2:26 PM

Craig Breen and Eddie Jordan were two of the winners at today’s Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards in Dublin. Breen, who recently won the World Rally Championship Academy after a spectacular win at Rally Great Britain, won the International Driver of the Year Award for his outstanding achievements throughout 2011.

Jordan was presented with the Motorsport Ireland Hall of Fame Award for everything that he has contributed to motorsport both in Ireland and internationally over the past 40 years. Jordan was delighted to receive the award saying; “I am absolutely delighted to be here to accept this prestigious honour. I have had a long association with Motorsport Ireland and it is 20 years ago now since the F1 team started and I am proud that we had so many Irish people centrally involved with the team success.

I hope we will see a second Irish Grand Prix team sometime in the future. The team always had great support from Ireland and I think everyone was proud of the highlights – the four Grand Prix wins – the battle for the Constructors and drivers titles in 1999 and providing the debut drives for Michael Schumacher and others. I want to thank everyone in Motorsport Ireland for this award which I am truly delighted and honoured to receive,” Jordan finished by saying.

The Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year went to Monaghan’s Sam Moffett who excelled in 2011 winning the Group N section of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and finished third in the Group N category of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

The Dunlop Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year was awarded to Dubliner Aron Smith who had a very good season in the UK where he competed in the Air Asia Clio Cup. The 22 year old finished runner-up in the Championship while also winning a point on his debut in the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.

Double Irish Rally Champion Tim McNulty was also there along with co-driver Paul Kiely as they received their awards for winning the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Championship this year, the first driver and navigator to achieve the double.

The Ivan Webb Memorial award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Irish Motorsport went to Tom Walsh, who is a member of the Mayo and District Motorclub for his contribution to Irish motorsport including playing an integral part in Rally Ireland as Clerk of the Course and helping to manage some of Ireland’s top motorsport talents such as Billy Coleman and Shaun Gallagher.

Joe Corcoran, President of Motorsport Ireland, said;
“Today is about celebrating the achievements of our young drivers in a sport that places enormous demands on their ability and determination to success at the highest level. All the winners today can be very proud of their successes throughout the year and they are an example for all young people in sport.”

Finalists announced for Motorsport Ireland Awards

Posted: November 28, 2011 10:39 AM

Motorsport Ireland has announced the finalists for the Young Racing Driver and Young Rally Driver of the Year Awards ahead of next month’s Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards in Dublin.

The top three finalists for the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year are Monaghan drivers, Daniel McKenna and Sam Moffett, along with Dubliner Douglas Stewart.

Sam Moffett showed his class as one of Ireland’s up-and-coming young rally drivers in 2011. The 21-year-old from Clontibret in Monaghan won the Group N section of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, finishing second overall, and also finished third in Group N of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

Daniel McKenna, who also hails from Monaghan, was one of the fastest on the roads in 2011. McKenna’s best performance this year came at the Carlow Stages Rally, where he finished third overall behind Championship winner Tim McNulty and Robert Barrable, while also winning the Escort Mark 2 Challenge at the event. The 24-year-old also set the second fastest time on the first stage of the Donegal International Rally during the summer.

Finally Douglas Stewart from Dublin completes the line-up for the finalists for Young Rally Driver of the Year. Stewart spent most of his season competing on gravel across Ireland. The 26-year-old’s best result came at the Moonraker Forestry Rally in April where he finished 17th overall and first in his class.

The top three finalists for the Dunlop Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year are a Dublin trio of Niall Murray, Andy O’Brien and Aron Smith, who have all had an excellent year on the track.

Aron Smith, who won Young Racing Driver of the Month for April, had all of his success in the UK in 2011, as he competed in the Air Asia Clio Cup. The 22-year-old competed in all rounds, with three wins and nine podium finishes to his name as he finished runner-up in the Championship. He also competed in a round of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, where he scored a point on his debut.

Niall Murray, Young Racing Driver of the Month for June, made big strides in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship in 2011. The 16-year-old, who won the Irish Championship last year, competed in the UK version this year securing two wins along with eight podium finishes, including a victory at Brands Hatch.

The last finalist for Dunlop Sexton Trophy is Andy O’Brien, who won the Young Racing Driver of the Month for July. O’Brien only started competing in motorsport in 2010 when he finished second in the Irish Ginetta Junior Championship in his debut season. This year he went one better, winning the Ginetta Junior Championship with 10 podium finishes, eight fastest laps and five pole positions.

Joe Corcoran, President of Motorsport Ireland, is delighted with the standard of driving this year.
“This year we have seen some great results both nationally and internationally by Irish competitors and our Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards will look to honour these performances. We had 13 excellent contenders for the Billy Coleman and the Dunlop Sexton Awards, who all had great seasons, so congratulations to them all and to the 6 drivers across the two categories who have now been selected as finalists. It’s safe to say the future of Irish motorsport is extremely bright,” he said.

The Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin on the 6th December with over 20 awards to be handed out on the day, including a Hall of Fame Award.

MOTORSPORT IRELAND YOUNG RALLY DRIVER OF THE YEAR

Posted: November 28, 2011 10:36 AM

The Selection Panel for the Billy Coleman Award will meet on Thursday 17 November to interview the seven candidates for the title of Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year 2011.

The drivers who have qualified for the interview stage are:

    Gerard McQuaid, Glaslough, Co Monaghan (Highest Placed Junior driver overall in Dunlop National Rally Championship)

    Derek Butler, Mallow, Co Cork (Highest Placed Junior driver overall in National Forest Rally Championship)

    Douglas Stewart, Churchtown, Dublin (2nd Junior driver overall in National Forest Rally Championship)

    John Doogan, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan (Winner of Junior Category of Dunlop National Rally Championship)

    Vincent McAree, Ballinode, Co Monaghan (Wildcard)

    Sam Moffett, Clontibret, Co Monaghan (Wildcard)

    Daniel McKenna, Clones, Co Monaghan (Wildcard)
The Billy Coleman Award is presented annually to the most outstanding young Rally driver during the current year. The award consists of a support package for Rally competition in 2012 to the value of €50,000.

Funding for the award is provided jointly by Motorsport Ireland, its affiliated clubs, and the Irish Sports Council.

The formal presentation of awards to the Champions of Irish Motorsport will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin on Tuesday 6 December 2011.






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