Billy Coleman Award Young Rally Driver of the Year 2015
The finalists for Motorsport Ireland’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award have been officially announced – with Rob Duggan, Josh Moffett and Patrick O’Brien in the running to take home one of Irish rallying’s most prestigious awards.
The three drivers were chosen from a shortlist of eight candidates who were nominated for the award on the merits of their performances during the year. All eight faced a rigorous selection process which included interviews from a panel of judges comprising members of the media, an official from Sport Ireland (formerly the Irish Sports Council) and representatives from the club and rallying world.
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 boost their career.
Past winners have included many drivers, such as Daniel McKenna and Craig Breen, who have gone on to compete at the highest level, winning multiple British Rally championship events and flying the flag at European and World Rally Championship level.
A spokesman for the Motorsport Ireland judging panel said that selection of the final three was a very difficult task: “The process of deciding the finalists is always difficult. Not only does the judging panel have to assess their potential as drivers but also how they will represent the sport over the time that they hold the title of Young Rally Driver Of The Year. There is a wealth of driving talent in the country and there was an incredible standard set by all the drivers that were interviewed. Every one of them deserved their opportunity but unfortunately only three can be chosen.”
The overall winner will be announced at the Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport awards ceremony which will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd. The award is supported by Motorsport Ireland, Dunlop and Sport Ireland.
The three finalists for the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year are (listed alphabetically):
Rob Duggan (aged 22) Killarney, Co Kerry
Winner of Junior Rally in International Rally of the Lakes, Donegal International Rally, Cork 20 International, West Cork Rally, class wins in Circuit of Ireland National Rally, Tyrone Stages Rally, Fastnet Rally.
Josh Moffett (aged 23) Clontibret, Co Monaghan
Winner of the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, winner of Monaghan Stages Rally and Mayo Forestry Rally, 3rd in Circuit of Ireland International Rally (European Championship round).
Patrick O’Brien (aged 18) Omagh, Co Tyrone
Winner of Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship