|Dean Raftery in action|
The Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year went to 23 year old Galway native, Dean Raftery, who narrowly beat runners up Josh Moffett and Kevin Eves to the title. 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. The former Junior National Forestry Champion completed very successfully this year in the British Rally Championship beating many seasoned professionals.
Raftery (pictured left) also had an outstanding run out at the British round of the World Rally Championship where he finished on the podium. As the winner he will now receive €50,000 worth of support for the 2015 season when he intends to compete in the Fiesta Trophy in the World Rally Championship.
Matt Griffin, European Le Mans Series Champion in 2013 and close runner up in 2014 was selected by Members of the Irish Motor Sport Media as the International Driver of the Year and recipient of the prestigious Manley Memorial Trophy.
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. He joins previous winners such as Austin MacHale, Eddie Irvine and Derek Tohill to name but a few.
This year, Mattie was runner-up in the final of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and finished third in the Leinster Trophy feature race at Mondello.
Photos by Peter Houlihan Photography