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2015 Billy Coleman Award

Posted: December 9, 2015 11:15 AM - 3657 Hits

Robert Duggan wins Billy Coleman Award - Outstanding Motorsport Achievement Awards Announced

Posted: December 2, 2015 11:14 AM

The Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year went to 22-year-old Kerry native, Robert Duggan, who narrowly beat runners up Josh Moffett and Patrick O'Brien to the title.

Robert received his nomination on the back of strong drives in May and June which saw him win the junior sections of the Killarney and Donegal Internationals. Following on from that, he was also crowned as the inaugural CFR2 Champion in Northern Ireland gaining him a prize drive in Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2015 World Rally Championship. At the Circuit of Ireland, which was also a round of the European Rally Championship, Duggan showed he had the pace to match the best that Europe has to offer as he went on to win his class while coming 4th in the overall National Rally. Duggan was also a finalist for the young rally driver of the year award in 2013.

As the winner he will now receive 50,000 Euro worth of support for the 2015 season when he intends to compete in the Fiesta Trophy in the World Rally Championship.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Dublin today, Duggan said:
"I am thrilled to have won the Billy Coleman Award this year. Having narrowly missed out twice before, I was determined that I would do everything I could in 2015 to get my name on the trophy. I have worked hard to achieve the goals I set myself at the start of 2015 and this award is the culmination of my efforts and those of the team that support me."

"Ultimately I want to take on the best in the World Rally Championship and the international recognition that comes with winning the Billy Coleman will help me get there. I look forward to receiving the support and mentoring that comes as part of the award that has helped the likes of previous winners Craig Breen, Keith Cronin and Daniel McKenna make their mark on the world and European stages."

The Dunlop Sexton Trophy for Young Racing Driver of the Year was awarded to Jake Byrne, from Blackwood, near Naas, Co Kildare, ahead of runners up James Roe and Jordan Dempsey. Byrne, who turned 21 this year, completely dominated the Formula Ford class at Kirkistown, winning eight races on his way to taking the Northern Ireland Formula Ford title. Throughout the season the Kildare driver also impressed in the British National Championship, producing a number of impressive drives. Byrne is a final year student in Trinity College Dublin, where he is studying Mechanical Engineering.

The Manley Memorial Trophy for the International Driver of the Year went to Jonny McMullan, from Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim. The award is presented to an Irish competitor from the 32 counties who has not only proven to be a success on the track but also has acted as a positive role model and ambassador for the sport. Jonny joins a long list of previous winners that includes luminaries in the motorsport world such as Matt Griffin, Austin MacHale, Eddie Irvine and Derek Tohill to name but a few.

Jonny McMullan, who won the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award in 2014, has enjoyed a marvellous season, with victories in the British National Formula Ford 1600 and BRSCC Triple Crown Championships, and also in the prestigious Vivion Daly Trophy. During 2015, he secured an unprecedented 17 pole position starts, 10 race wins and a staggering 21 podiums.

Jonny said:
"This award carries with it a great responsibility and is as big an incentive as I have ever had to continue to strive to win more in the future. After winning the Sexton Trophy last year, I was extremely excited about driving the Motorsport Ireland Van Diemen in 2015 and we?ve had an absolutely brilliant year. I couldn't have done it without the team that was put behind me, Sport Ireland and of course the support of my family. It is an honour to be recognised amongst some of the greats of Irish Motorsport and I intend to acknowledge this by continuing to be the best I can. I can?t wait for the next season to start."

Motorsport Ireland honoured all their National Champions at the lunch as well as individuals who have contributed to the sport throughout the year.

The Ivan Webb Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Irish Motorsport went to Frank O?Donoghue, from Clonsilla, Dublin, who has been an integral part of the Irish motorsport community for many years.

The JC Millard Memorial Award for Clubman of the Year went to Frank Nuttall, from Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, for his contribution to the sport.

Speaking at the awards, Motorsport Ireland President Martin McKenna said:
"These awards showcase the very best of the incredible talent we have at present in our motorsport community. Together with our partners in Sport Ireland and Dunlop we are delighted to provide this fantastic platform to showcase the talents to our budding young competitors. In order to keep this progress going we have started a process of engagement with all levels of our great sport to see how we can improve motorsport in Ireland for all our competitors and supporters. Over the coming year you will start to see some changes that we are sure will be welcomed by everyone.

"Sometimes our drivers' successes go unrecognised at home yet they can be household names amongst the motorsport faithful across the world. The awards presented today offer our drivers an acknowledgement of their achievements and we all hope that we will see more like these emerging in the future."

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED - Winner will be announced at the Irish Motorsport awards ceremony on (Wed) 2 Dec

Posted: December 2, 2015 6:08 AM

The finalists for Motorsport Ireland's Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award have been officially announced - with Rob Duggan, Josh Moffett and Patrick O'Brien in the running to take home one of Irish rallying's most prestigious awards.

The three drivers were chosen from a shortlist of eight candidates who were nominated for the award on the merits of their performances during the year. All eight faced a rigorous selection process which included interviews from a panel of judges comprising members of the media, an official from Sport Ireland (formerly the Irish Sports Council) and representatives from the club and rallying world.

The internationally-recognised Billy Coleman Award is one of the most prestigious accolades that any young driver on the island of Ireland can aspire to. It comes with a prize valued at 50,000 Euro in support to help the winner boost their career. Past winners have included many drivers, such as Daniel McKenna and Craig Breen, who have gone on to compete at the highest level, winning multiple British Rally championship events and flying the flag at European and World Rally Championship level.

A spokesman for the Motorsport Ireland judging panel said that selection of the final three was a very difficult task:
"The process of deciding the finalists is always difficult. Not only does the judging panel have to assess their potential as drivers but also how they will represent the sport over the time that they hold the title of Young Rally Driver Of The Year. There is a wealth of driving talent in the country and there was an incredible standard set by all the drivers who were interviewed. Every one of them deserved their opportunity but unfortunately only three can be chosen."

The overall winner will be announced at the Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport awards ceremony which will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd.
The award is supported by Motorsport Ireland, its Affiliated Clubs and Sport Ireland.

The three finalists for the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year are (listed alphabetically):

    Rob Duggan (aged 22) Killarney, Co Kerry
    Winner of Junior Rally in International Rally of the Lakes, Donegal International Rally, Cork 20 International, West Cork Rally, class wins in Circuit of Ireland National Rally, Tyrone Stages Rally, Fastnet Rally.

    Josh Moffett (aged 23) Clontibret, Co Monaghan
    Winner of the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, winner of Monaghan Stages Rally and Mayo Forestry Rally, 3rd in Circuit of Ireland International Rally (European Championship round).

    Patrick O'Brien (aged 18) Omagh, Co Tyrone
    Winner of Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship

McSweeney gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: December 2, 2015 6:07 AM

Vincent McSweeney has been nominated for this year's Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in September and October.

The 26 year-old from Bandon, Co Cork, drove his Honda Civic to sixth place overall in the National section of the Cork 20 Rally and added to his impressive collection of class victories. Earlier in the year, he scored Junior wins in the Galway International and Birr Rallies, and the highlight was fourth overall and yet another class win in the National section of the Killarney Rally of the Lakes, behind three much more powerful cars. He has also won this year's Southern 4 Championship.

Vincent began rallying in 2010, and apart from his first ever rally in a Suzuki Swift, has always driven Honda Civics.

He hopes to defend his Southern 4 title next year, probably driving the Civic again, although he would like to progress to a faster car in the future, possibly in the R2 class.

Vincent works as a design engineer in Liebherr in Killarney. His principal sponsor is Patrick Horgan Tyre Services (Bandon) and he very much appreciates the enormous assistance in car preparation and on-event servicing from his father, Vincent (Senior), and the contribution of his regular co-driver Michael Kearney and Michael's father, Billy.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives support to the value of 50,000 Euro to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2016 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of events in 2016, along with co-ordinator support.

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

Rob Duggan gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: July 31, 2015 10:03 AM

Rob Duggan has been nominated for this year?s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in May and June.

The 22 year-old from Killarney won the Junior Rally in both the Rally of the Lakes and Donegal Internationals, which, combined with his earlier Junior victory in West Cork, leave him in a strong second position in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Junior Championship, just four points behind the class leader.

Driving his Ford Fiesta R2, Rob also scored a class win in the Circuit of Ireland National Rally at Easter, and just last weekend, he made the changeover to a Peugeot 208 R2 and had a winning debut in the Tyrone Stages Rally. He hopes that this will give him an even better opportunity of clinching both the Tarmac Junior title and the Road to Wales series in Northern Ireland, with its free entry and funded drive in this year?s Wales Rally GB, the final round of the World Rally Championship.

Whether or not he maintains his lead in the Road to Wales, the young Kerryman plans to contest Rally GB in November and would like to tackle either the revived British Rally Championship or several Junior World Rally Championship rounds next year.

He has been rallying since 2012, and the highlight of his career to date was his fourth place in the National section of the 2014 Rally of the Lakes in his Honda Civic.

Rob is in the third year of a four year apprenticeship as an electrician in Liebherr in Killarney, and his principal sponsors are Rentokil Initial, Eager?s Newsagents (Killarney), O?Sullivan Cycles (Killarney), Mike Moriarty Centra (Farranfore), CB Tool Hire and Donal O?Brien Car Sales.

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 2016 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 2016, 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 Triton Showers National series, the winner of the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

David Moffett gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: June 1, 2015 9:08 AM

David Moffett has been nominated for this year's Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances during March and April.

The 24 year-old from Ballinode, Co Monaghan, drove his Toyota Starlet to top ten positions in the Mayo and Monaghan Rallies, scoring a win and a second place in the hotly contested class 13 for Modified cars. On home ground, he finished an excellent tenth overall in Monaghan, an event which boasted the biggest entry of the year so far.

David comes from a family with a very strong rallying background, and began competing in rallies in 2007, scoring several Junior class wins, before going on to take overall victory in the 2014 Sligo Pallets Border Championship. He also won the Junior section of last year's Donegal International Rally, and considers these two achievements as the highlights of his career to date.

He intends contesting the Border Championship again this year, and would also like to tackle the two wheel drive award in the Triton Showers National series next year, along with some overseas events.

David recently set up his own business, Moffett Spares and Services, and together with the Squealing Pig Bar and Restaurant, Hydraseals and Maurice Moffett Ltd., they sponsor his rallying.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives Eur 50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2016 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 2016, 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 Triton Showers National series, the winner of the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Armstrong gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: April 10, 2015 2:17 PM

Chris Armstrong has been nominated for this year's Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in January and February.

The 24 year-old from Virginia, Co Cavan, drove his Ford Escort to a class win and an excellent seventh place overall in the Birr Stages Rally last month, the opening round of the Triton Showers National Championship. He was also the first two wheel drive car home, behind six much more powerful World Rally Cars.

Chris began rallying in 2009, and improved steadily to score his first overall win in the 2013 Midland Rally at Roscommon. He repeated this feat in the GSMC Rally last October, and won the Modified section of the Killarney Historic Rally in December.

He intends to contest the National Championship this year, as well as tackling some Forestry Rallies to gain experience on gravel surfaces, as he would like to compete in the 2016 British Rally Championship, which consists mainly of this type of event.

Chris recently completed an apprenticeship in mechanical and maintenance technology with Dublin Aerospace and has set up a business hiring barriers and equipment.

His principal sponsors are Wilton Waste Recycling, Leo Forde Water Services, CA Event Hire, Millbrook Motors (Oldcastle), Corneen Motorsport Engines, Crozier Motorsport, Gordon Automotive, skellysbandb.com, 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 2016 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 2016, 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 Triton Showers National series, the winner of the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Motorsport Ireland Website

Posted: April 10, 2015 2:13 PM






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