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2014 Billy Coleman Award

Posted: November 21, 2014 8:39 PM - 5124 Hits

MOTORSPORT IRELAND ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR €50,000 YOUNG DRIVER AWARD

Posted: November 21, 2014 1:13 PM

Motorsport Ireland has announced the three finalists for the prestigious Billy Coleman Award for Ireland’s Young Rally Driver of the Year.

Josh Moffett, Kevin Eves and Dean Raftery will go forward to the finals at the Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards on December 10.

The winner will be chosen by a select committee drawn from representatives of the media, Irish Sports Council and the motorsport world. The successful driver will receive the Billy Coleman Award and funding of €50,000!

The award is viewed as a major accolade in a driver’s career and has helped launch the international careers of many former winners, including Keith Cronin and Craig Breen.

Monaghan driver Josh Moffett (22) won the Production car class (Group N) in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, winning the category outright at the Circuit of Ireland and Donegal International Rallies.

Speaking about what winning the Billy Coleman award would mean for him, Josh said:
“My ultimate ambition is to be able to compete at European and world levels within the next few seasons like former Billy Coleman winners Craig Breen and Keith Cronin.”

Kevin Eves (23), from Pettigo, Co Donegal, came to prominence in February this year when he came within 5.7 seconds of finishing 3rd overall in the Galway National Rally.

Kevin said:
“I have the ambition and speed to progress through the ranks in our sport. Winning this award will allow me the opportunity to gain the experience needed to achieve my goal.”

The final qualifier for the Billy Coleman Award is Dean Raftery, also 23, from Craughwell, Co Galway. Dean has been competing in motor sport events since he was eight years old. His achievements in 2014 were based around his participation in the British Rally Championship and the R2 category in particular.

Dean said:
“Motorsport and Rallying in particular has always been a huge passion of mine. I am extremely driven to succeed at whatever level I compete. I want to establish myself as one of the best drivers in Ireland and succeed at a world recognised level."

The winner will receive €50,000 worth of support and funding to compete in national and international rallies in 2015. The two runners up will receive free entry into a number of Motorsport Ireland events during 2015. All three finalists will also receive the benefit of advice and assistance from Motorsport Ireland mentor, Tom Walsh, co-ordinator for the Billy Coleman Award.

The previous winners of the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award include Gareth MacHale, Keith Cronin, Craig Breen and Daniel McKenna. In 2012, Cronin became only the fourth person in history to win three British Rally Championships, while Daniel McKenna took the spoils in the 2014 British Rally Championship, driving a Citroen DS3 R3T.

Young Rally Driver of the Year Finalists are announced

Posted: November 11, 2014 7:17 PM

Motorsport Ireland has announced the eight nominees for this year’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award.

These comprise the five bi-monthly winners from January-February through to September-October along with the highest placed driver from the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, the winner of the Junior category in the Dunlop National Rally Championship and finally two wildcards.

Kevin Eves from Donegal was the first name on the list as he secured the January-February nomination for his results in the Galway Rally.

The March-April nomination went to Monaghan driver Josh Moffett, who won the Production class in the Circuit of Ireland International Rally, and also took class wins in both the Munster Moonraker Forestry and Monaghan events.

In May-June, the outstanding young rally driver was Cormac Phelan from Roscommon, who won the Junior class in the Carlow and Circuit of Munster Rallies, giving him a hat-trick of three in a row in the Dunlop National Rally Championship. He went on to take the Junior title, earning a double nomination.

Galway driver Dean Raftery was the nominee for July-August, with class victory in the ALMC Rally and second place in class in the Ulster International Rally, a round of the British Rally Championship.

The final bi-monthly selection was Chris Armstrong from Cavan, thanks to his outright win in the GSMC Rally in October, backed up by second place in class in the two day Wexford Rally and a class third in Clare.

Conor McCarthy from Dunmanway, Co Cork, was the winner of the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship.

The wildcard selections to complete the list of finalists went to Rob Duggan from Killarney and Monaghan’s Richard Moffett, a cousin of Josh, for their impressive results during the year in both tarmac and forestry rallies.

All eight nominees will be interviewed by an independent panel with the list being narrowed down to three finalists. The winner of this year’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year will then be announced at the Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards on December 10.

The winner will receive support to the value of €50,000 to compete in rallies nationally and internationally in 2015. The two runners up will receive free entry into a number of Motorsport Ireland permitted events during 2015. All three finalists will also receive the benefit of advice and assistance from Tom Walsh, Co-ordinator for the Billy Coleman Award. Tom has been involved in the management and mentoring of young rally drivers in International competition for many years and has also acted as Clerk of the Course for Rally Ireland.

Armstrong gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: November 8, 2014 4:56 PM

Chris Armstrong has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in September and October.

The 24 year-old from Virginia, Co Cavan, drove his 2 litre Ford Escort to an outright win in the GSMC Rally, backed up by second place in class in the two day Wexford Rally and a class third in Clare. Earlier in the year, he scored top six finishes in Midland and Carrick-on-Suir.

Chris began rallying in 2009, and improved steadily to score his first overall win in the 2013 Midland Rally at Roscommon.

He intends to finish the year with an outing in the Killarney Historic event in December, and would like to contest rounds of the National Championship next year, as well as possible appearances in the Circuit of Ireland and Donegal Internationals.

Chris is in the final year of an apprenticeship in mechanical and maintenance technology with Dublin Aerospace.

His principal sponsors are Wilton Waste Recycling, Leo Forde Water Services, CA Event Hire, Millbrook Motors (Oldcastle), Corneen Motorsport Engines, Crozier Motorsport, SMH Rallybitz, and Valerie’s Clothes Care.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Raftery gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: September 26, 2014 9:52 AM

Dean Raftery has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in July and August.

The 23 year-old from Craughwell, Co Galway, drove his Ford Fiesta R2 to a class victory in the Sligo Rally, finishing eleventh overall. He also took second place in the R2 class of the Ulster International Rally, a round of the British Rally Championship, and was fourth overall.

Despite problems on Rally Isle of Man two weeks ago when they retired during the opening leg, the Galwayman and his co-driver Aileen Kelly scored third place points on the final day, which was the last round of the British series, to clinch the BRC Rally Two title, the BRC2 class, the Ford FiestaSport Trophy and the Ravenol Oils Newcomers Award, as well as third place overall in the British Championship.

Dean started his motorsport career at the age of eight in Kart Racing, progressing to Junior Rallycross events before taking up rally driving in 2011. In 2012, he drove a Honda Civic to take the Junior title in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship and was chosen as a wild card selection to the final stage of the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award, going on to take one of the runner up positions for the Award.

Last year, Dean was one of the bi-monthly nominees for the Coleman Award for his performances in the Valvoline Forestry series and he also contested some British Championship rallies to gain experience of the stages used, which obviously paid off this year.

For 2015, the Galway native hopes to contest the new European Rally Championship Junior section in his current Fiesta. Dean works as an accountant in the Dublin office of Deloitte and Touche. His principal sponsors are Bluebird Care, King Car Parts (Galway), Craughwell Tyre Centre, Blackhawk Fuels and Connacht 4x4 Spares. He very much appreciates the excellent car preparation carried out on his car by Broderick Motorsport.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January/February, through to September/October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Phelan gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: July 18, 2014 11:12 PM

Cormac Phelan has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in May and June.

The 24 year-old from Cootehall, Co Roscommon, won the Junior class in the Carlow and Circuit of Munster Rallies, giving him a hat-trick of three in a row in the Dunlop National Rally Championship, as he had earlier taken victory in the class in the Kerry round in April. This was his first Junior win, and is the highlight of his rallying to date. Despite retiring from the opening Dunlop round in Mayo, Cormac holds second place in the Junior Championship, just two points behind the class leader.

Cormac began his motorsport career in 2012, tackling three rallies, and increased this to five events last year, so this is his first full season of competition. He has been driving a Honda Civic until recently, but has now changed to a Citroen C2R2 Max which he drove to second place in class in Sligo last weekend on his first outing in a left hand drive car.

His plans for the remainder of this year include completing the Dunlop Junior series and the Top Part West Coast Championship. For 2015, he intends tackling some of the Irish Tarmac Championship rallies, and hopes to contest the Junior section of the European Rally Championship.

Cormac’s principal sponsors are FAAC, who manufacture automated gates and doors, HKC Alarms, National Automation Ltd., where he works as head of technical sales, PJF Motorsport and DYGM Photography. He attributes a large part of his success to his girlfriend Katja Auhl, who is his regular co-driver.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January/February, through to September/October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Moffett gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: May 22, 2014 10:31 PM

Josh Moffett has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in March and April.

The 21 year-old from Clontibret, Co Monaghan, won the Production class in the Circuit of Ireland International Rally, a round of the European Championship, and also won his class in both the Munster Moonraker Forestry and Monaghan Stages events, as well as taking runner up position at the Mayo Stages.

Josh is currently the overall leader in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship and holds second place in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac series.

He started his motorsport career in circuit racing, in the British T-car Championship in 2007, aged just 14. In 2009, he contested the Dunlop Supercar series at Mondello Park, and scored a number of podium finishes.

Josh began rallying in 2010 driving a Peugeot 106, winning a Junior class in his first event, the Galway International, and continuing in this car into early 2011 before switching to his current Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.

2012 and 2013 brought a busy programme including rounds of all the main Irish Championships, with the young Monaghan driver being crowned as Production Car champion last year in both the Dunlop and Valvoline series and runner up in the Tarmac points table.

His plans for this year again include a full programme of rallies in all the major Irish championships. He also hopes to tackle another European Championship Rally during the year.

Josh is currently a design engineer/production manager in Combilift, who are his principal sponsor. He also has support from Aisle-Master, Gaffey Motor Factors, Lowey Transport and Pirelli.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January/February, through to September/October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Eves gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: May 22, 2014 10:28 PM

Kevin Eves has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in January and February.

The 22 year-old from Pettigo, Co Donegal, won his class and finished fourth overall in the National section of the Galway International Rally at the wheel of his Toyota Corolla, making the most of the slippery conditions to beat many potentially faster cars.

Kevin only began rally driving in 2013, recording a string of good results to take runner up position in the Junior class of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, with victories in the Monaghan, Sligo and Skibbereen rounds. He was chosen as the wildcard selection to be a finalist for the Billy Coleman Award, and regards the win in Skibbereen as his best result of the year.

Kevin’s plans for this year include driving a new Peugeot 208 R2 in the Circuit of Ireland, as well as in the Scottish, Ulster and Isle of Man rounds of the British Rally Championship. He intends continuing with his Corolla in the Border series.

His plans for 2015 depend on the outcome of this year, but he would like to contest the new European Rally Championship Junior section, or a National series in a continental European country

Kevin works as operations manager in EnviroGrind, who are also one of his sponsors, along with JM Joinery, Building Cost Control, and Accapple Construction.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January/February, through to September/October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Motorsport Ireland Website

Posted: May 22, 2014 10:27 PM






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