Next Tuesday, November 15, eight of Ireland’s most promising young rally drivers will make their cases to be selected as the Young Rally Driver of the Year and be declared the winner of the prestigious Billy Coleman Award.
Five of these hopefuls were nominated during the year for their performances in rallies between January and October, with three additional names added in the form of the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series, the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection.
The five bi-monthly winners were:
Callum Devine (Claudy, Co Derry)
Gary Kiernan (Bailieborough, Co Cavan)
Chris Armstrong (Virginia, Co Cavan)
Josh Moffett (Clontibret, Co Monaghan)
Eric Calnan (Carrigaline, Co Cork)
Joining these five are Gary McNamee (Oldcastle, Co Meath), the Triton Showers National Junior champion in his Honda Civic, and Ford Escort driver Shane Kenneally (Dungarvan, Co Waterford), who is the highest placed eligible Junior in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship.
The final place on the interview list, the wildcard selection, goes to Patrick O’Brien (Omagh, Co Tyrone), who was one of last year’s runners-up.
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 2017 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 2017, along with co-ordinator support.