10 December 2014

Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Awards 2014

Dean Raftery in action
The winners of the International Driver of the Year, the Dunlop Sexton Trophy and the prestigious Billy Coleman Award were announced at the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Awards Ceremony this week.

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.

Mattie Griffin
John McMullan (22) from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim was awarded the Dunlop Sexton Trophy for Young Racing Driver of the Year ahead of runners up Jake Byrne and Sean Doyle. He began his motorsport career in kart racing at the age of 10 and transferred to racing cars in 2009.

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.

Mattie Griffin
The Ivan Webb Memorial award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Irish Motorsport went to Pat O'Dowd from Wexford Motor Club 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 Seamus Anderson from Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny for his contribution to the sport.

Photos by Peter Houlihan Photography