More than 30 trophies were presented at the Beta Tools Motorsport Ireland Awards yesterday to Irish drivers competing both domestically and internationally. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the prestigious Billy Coleman Award, the Sexton Trophy and the International Driver of the Year award.
The Awards Ceremony was held in the Round Room at the Mansion House and was attended by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin, Director of Participation & Ethics at Sport Ireland, Dr Una May, Martin McKenna, President of Motorsport Ireland, members of the media, award recipients and their guests.
The Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year was won by 23-year-old Callum Devine, from Derry. Devine fended off a number of other great young drivers to take top spot in what has been described as one of the closest decisions in recent years.
He had many standout performances particularly while winning the Junior British Rally Championship and when claiming victory in his class at the Ypres Rally in Belgium.
Devine now joins a list of illustrious winners of the Billy Coleman Award, which includes the first ever driver from the Republic of Ireland to secure a World Rally Championship drive with Citroen, Craig Breen, and record breaking four-time British Rally champion Keith Cronin, who also secured this year’s Manley Trophy as International Driver of the Year.
As part of the awards, Devine and 17-year old Jordan Dempsey who won the Sexton Trophy for Young racing Driver of the Year, will each receive support to the value of €50,000 for the 2018 season.
“Alongside our partners in Sport Ireland, we are excited about the future for the sport and believe that those that have won today will be able to fill the shoes of previous winners, many of whom have gone on to compete successfully on the international circuit,” said Motorsport ireland President Martin McKenna.
“We continue to nurture driving talent through the Motorsport Team Ireland programme, which aims to help gifted drivers progress in the sport. Judging by the winners here today, the future of Irish Motorsport is very positive.”
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