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Billy Coleman Award - (Tue) 9 Dec 08

Posted: December 12, 2008 3:53 PM - 9106 Hits

Ross Forde - Young Rally Driver of the Year - Billy Coleman Award
Photo: Sportsfile

Forde wins prestigious Billy Coleman Award

Posted: December 12, 2008 3:53 PM

Galway rally driver Ross Forde has won one of the most prestigious prizes in Irish motorsport – the Billy Coleman Award.

The 25-year-old beat off stiff competition from six other finalists to be revealed as the winner at the Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards in Dublin on Tuesday (9 December) and was also crowned the Young Rally Driver of the Year.

He made it through to the interview stage of the Billy Coleman Award after winning his class in the National Junior Rally Championship.

Forde has been handed a fully funded drive in a Ford Fiesta in a British-based championship next year for his success. The prize is worth in excess of €50,000.

He and his co-driver brother Arron have also contested the inaugural Suzuki Swift Sport Cup in the UK this season in which they finished up third in the juniors after a mixed campaign.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Billy Coleman Award,” said Forde. “It’s been an ambition of mine and it’s great to have achieved it. I was surprised when it was announced at the awards but it was a pleasant surprise.

“I would not have made it this far without the help of my kind sponsors, Global Group Ireland, Tom Gormally, BCC Group, Frank Cunningham, Galway Mini Centre, G&R Windows, family members and friends

“I’m now looking forward to taking the opportunity I have of the fully-funded drive next season and doing the best I can. It’s a great prize to have been given and I aim to make the most of it.”

Forde will next be in action in his home event, the Galway International Rally, in January followed by the opening round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Ireland on January 29 – February 1.

Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards
Billy Coleman Award goes to Ross Forde

Posted: December 9, 2008 5:56 PM

Motorsport Ireland today honoured their National Champions of 2008 at a prestigious gala lunch held at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel.  The lunch was attended by personalities spanning more than half a century of historic achievement in the sport.  

Among the many highlights were:  

25 year-old Ross Forde from Oranmore in Co. Galway was announced as the Young Rally Driver of the Year and was presented with the Billy Coleman Award and a sponsored drive in a 2009 British Championship series to the value of €50,000.  

Peter Dempsey from Ashbourne, Co. Meath was selected as the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year.  The 22 year-old was presented with the prestigious Walter Sexton Memorial Trophy and a cheque for €35,000. Patrick McKenna from Ashbourne, Co. Dublin, picked up the second place award and €10,000, with another Swords driver, Robert Barrable, (Son of Michael Barrable) taking the final place along with a cheque for €5,000.   

A1 Grand Prix series driver Adam Carroll from Portadown, Co. Armagh, whose performances currently place A1 Team Ireland at the head of the championship points table, was voted by the Motorsport media as the International Driver of the Year and winner of the Manley Memorial Trophy.  

Peter Wilson from Moynalty, Co. Meath, was presented with the National Junior Rally Championship and a sponsored drive in a four wheel drive Rally car in 2009.  

      Announcing the awards, Alex Sinclair, CEO of Motorsport Ireland, expressed his pride in all that the sport has achieved in the past year.  Alex also thanked the Irish Sports Council and Dunlop for their valued support and encouragement in the development of the sport over recent years, particularly in relation to our two young drivers’ awards schemes and the creation of a stranding scheme for our high achievers.


Posted: December 9, 2008 2:54 PM

Billy Coleman Award Winner to be announced on December 9th

Posted: November 29, 2008 7:27 AM

Ireland’s ambitious young rally drivers have been competing against each other all year in the National Junior Rally Championship in an effort to claim the prestigious Motorsport Ireland “Billy Coleman Award” for 2008.

The award carries with it a coveted first prize of €50,000 worth of support to help further the winning driver’s rallying career. The overall winner of the Junior Championship and the class winners are joined by two wild card selections, and the judging panel will have made their decision following an interview process in late November, when the performance of the candidates during the past season and their plans for 2009 were reviewed.

The list of contenders is (alphabetically):
Junior championship class winners

    Ross Forde,
    Adrian Levis,
    Vincent McAree,
    Eamonn Power,
    Peter Wilson
plus wild cards
    Damien McCarthy,
    Jason Ryan.
The Billy Coleman Award is supported by the Irish Sports Council and MI’s affiliated rally organising Motor Clubs.

The winner will be announced at Motorsport Ireland’s “Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards” lunch, which is due to be held in Dublin on December 9.

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