Le Mans series driver, a 17 year old Supercar pace setter and an Irish driver making his mark in the USA are the three drivers selected as finalists in the Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award.
Charlie Eastwood (23), from Castlereagh, Belfast has been named alongside 17-year-old Cameron Fenton, Greystones, Co. Wicklow and James Roe (20), from Bodenstown, Co Kildare, in the race for the prestigious Sexton Trophy and €50,000.
The three drivers were drawn from six candidates who were nominated on the back of their performances during the course of this year. They were selected from a range of track racing disciplines and underwent a rigorous selection process in front of a judging panel made up from representatives of the racing community and the media.
Charlie Eastwood is in the middle of his first year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) driving an Aston Martin. He has impressively achieved three second places from three races in his debut year and is on track to add to his World Karting and Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship titles by the time the series finishes at the Le Mans 24hour in June 2019.
Charlie Eastwood is in the middle of his first year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) driving an Aston Martin
Cameron Fenton competed in the domestic supercar championship, winning seven out of 12 races and where he was the unchallenged pace-setter, both in race results and lap times. He missed out on the championship by one point due to car reliability issues.
Cameron Fenton competed in the domestic supercar championship, winning seven out of 12 races
James Roe moved to the USA at the start of the year to compete in the challenging Pro F2000 series where he was crowned Vice Champion after three wins, seven podiums finishes while driving on six different tracks for the first time ever. As a result, he was also crowned Pro F2000 series Rookie Champion. In the process he also set a new Lap Record at Summit Point which had stood for the last 10 years.
James Roe moved to the USA at the start of the year to compete in the challenging Pro F2000 series
John Naylor, President of Motorsport Ireland commented: “This is an outstanding testament to how our young drivers are progressing in the sport today.”
Naylor added: “Whoever wins this year’s title will have won it against the stiffest opposition possible. Good luck to them all.”
The Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award and the historic Sexton Trophy are presented to the individual who has demonstrated the most potential to represent Ireland at home and internationally both on the track as well as in the public eye. The winner will receive a €50,000 support package to help develop their motor racing career.
In addition, all three finalists will be included in the Team Ireland development programme run by Motorsport Ireland to nurture and support young drivers.
The current Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of The Year, Jordan Dempsey, concluded a very dominant run in the FIA F4 Chinese Championship by clinching the driver’s title in what was his maiden season in the class.
The overall winner of the 2018 award will be revealed at the Irish Motorsport awards ceremony which will take place on Tuesday, December 4 at The Round Room at The Mansion House.
The award is presented annually and is supported by Sport Ireland and Motorsport Ireland.