The three finalists for the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year are (listed alphabetically):
Winner Junior British Rally Championship and Winner of the Junior section of the Ypres Rally, Belgium
Irish Tarmac Rally Modified Champion.
2nd overall Junior National Rally Championship, 2nd overall Junior National Border Championship.
Other candidates that narrowly missed out this year included, Jenna McCann, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Brian Brady, Kells, Co Meath, Michael Boyle, Lettermacaward, Co. Donegal, Gary Kiernan, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, John O’Sullivan, Mallow, Co Cork.
Past winners of the Billy Coleman Award have gone on to compete at the highest level both at home and internationally, with drivers winning international championships as well as flying the flag at European and World Rally Championship level. Included on this honor roll are the first ever driver from the Republic of Ireland to secure a WRC works seat, Craig Breen, record breaking four-time British Rally champion Keith Cronin, and the current award holder Josh Moffett, who is competing in the ERC Junior Championship.
A spokesman for the Motorsport Ireland judging panel said that selection of the three finalists was a very difficult task. “All those interviewed deserved to be there and separating the drivers into a final three from such a pool of young talent was not an easy task,” the spokesman said. “One thing that is certain is that some of those that narrowly missed out this year will be in front of the judging panel again.
“The eventual winner will be an ambassador for Motorsport and, like their predecessors, we hope will go on to inspire more people in Ireland to engage with our sport. They have some very strong role models like Craig Breen and Keith Cronin to lean on for help and inspiration as their careers progress both domestically and internationally. We have no doubt that any of the finalists can fill this role and we look forward to announcing the winner at our Beta Irish Motorsport awards ceremony in early December.”
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 in support to help the winner develop their career.