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2018 Billy Coleman Award

Posted: November 9, 2018 4:20 PM - 1395 Hits

Eight drivers in the running for Young Rally Driver of the Year Award

Posted: November 8, 2018 4:09 PM

Next Tuesday, 13 November, 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 and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, as well as a wildcard selection.

Joining the five already chosen are Darragh McNern (Bruckless, Co Donegal), who finished 2nd in the Triton Showers National Junior class in his Toyota Corolla, and Peugeot 208 driver Marty Gallagher (Letterkenny), who is the highest placed eligible Junior in the Valvoline Championship.

The final place on the interview list, the wildcard selection, goes to Colin O’Donoghue (Killarney), for his Junior wins on the Rally of the Lakes and the Skibbereen Fastnet, as well as runner up position in the West Cork Rally. Colin drove both a Ford Escort and a Honda Civic during the year.

The five bi-monthly selections were:

    James Wilson (Armagh)
    Derek Mackarel (Stone Bridge, Co Monaghan)
    Jason Black (Armagh)
    Jordan Hone (Claudy, Co Derry)
    Michael Hamilton (Miltown Malbay, Co Clare)
The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

Hamilton gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: November 3, 2018 3:08 AM

Michael Hamilton has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in September and October.

The 23 year-old from Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, drove his Honda Civic to class victories in the Sligo and Clare Stages Rallies, finishing in a tremendous 12th place overall in Sligo and 15th in Clare, despite lateness penalties in his home rally which dropped him from a possible 13th position, incurred while having to change a driveshaft in the service area. Earlier in the day, Michael and his co-driver Dylan Donoghue held tenth overall after the fourth of nine stages, matching the times set by much more powerful cars.

He only contested four rallies during the year, but problems forced him to retire from both the Circuit of Kerry and the recent Donegal Harvest events.

Michael intends modifying his car to contest the Junior section of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship next year, in line with recently announced technical regulations for the Junior class.

He began rallying in September 2016 in the Clare Stages Rally and immediately showed his pace, taking a comfortable class win, almost twelve minutes ahead of his closest rival.

Michael works as car sales manager with Dermot Cleary Motors of Ennis, who are also one of his sponsors, along with Charlie McEnery Motor Services, Efone, Egan Haulage & Agri, and Powertune Motorsport.

He joins with the four other bi-monthly winners selected from January-February, through to July-August, along with the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

Hone gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

Posted: October 17, 2018 12:09 PM

Jordan Hone has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in July and August.

The 22 year-old from Claudy, Co Derry, drove his Opel Adam to victory in the Junior class of the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, taking 13th place overall. He also scored a class win in the Ulster International Rally three weeks later.

Earlier in the year, Jordan finished as runner up in the Junior section of the Donegal International Rally, less than two seconds behind the eventual winner after swapping places all day. He also took a Junior win in the Carlow Mini Stages Rally.

Jordan began rallying in 2013 at the age of 17, scoring a class win in his first ever event, and going on to take his class in the Northern Ireland Rally Championship. He was NI Junior Rally champion the following year, and won the Group N Production class in the Valvoline National Forestry series in 2017. He hopes to contest the British Rally Championship next year, as well as possibly some European events.

Jordan is in the final year of a Masters’ degree in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University, Belfast.

His sponsors are Premier Car Parts (Derry), Rallyhire (Belfast) and TOC Utilities (Dungiven). He paid tribute to all the support he has had from his family and friends, particularly from his father and co-driver Paul Hone, Raymond and Matthew Mason of Rallyhire for their car preparation, and Aileen Kelly, who co-drove him in the Donegal International.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, along with the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

Black is nominated for Young Rally Driver of the Year

Posted: August 3, 2018 12:58 PM

Jason Black has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in May and June.

The 20 year-old from Armagh drove his Toyota Starlet to victory in the Junior class of the Donegal International and Cavan Rallies, adding these to his victories in Mayo and Monaghan earlier in the year, and his second place in Kerry. He currently leads the Junior sections of both the Triton Showers National Championship and the Sligo Pallets Border series.

Aged 18, Jason won the Cavan Junior Autocross title in 2016, and he also began rallying that year, driving his father’s car in the Cavan Rally. He switched to his own newly built Starlet early last year, giving it a winning debut in Mayo. Jason finished 2017 as third placed Junior in both the National and Border Championships.

The highlight of his career to date has undoubtedly been his class win in his first attempt at June’s Donegal International, where he swapped places with a rival all through the final day, triumphing by less than two seconds after a ferocious duel all the way.

Jason will complete the remaining events in the Triton Showers and Sligo Pallets Championships, and must be one of the favourites to take the double, based on his performances so far. He also hopes to contest the Cork 20 International in late September, the final round of the Irish Tarmac series.

He works as a site supervisor in the family construction business, and his principal sponsors are Hilmark Homes, Bribar Construction, Cross Group, Digital Fire & Security, and Barry McKenna Agri. Jason is very grateful for the support of his father Brian and all of his family, as well as Gerry Buckley and MS Motorsport for car preparation and his regular co-drivers Jack McKenna and Karl Egan.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, along with the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

Mackarel is nominated for Young Rally Driver of the Year

Posted: May 31, 2018 3:46 AM

Derek Mackarel has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in March and April.

The 22 year-old from Stone Bridge, near Clones, Co Monaghan, drove his Vauxhall Nova to victory in the Junior class of the Munster Moonraker Forestry Rally in Cork, finishing 16th

overall in a field packed with four wheel drive cars. Derek backed this up by his runner up position in the Limerick Forestry Junior section, taking 14th overall on that occasion.

Derek began his motorsport career at the age of fourteen, and already has two national titles under his belt. In 2014, he won the National Autocross series, aged eighteen, and earlier this year, he was the winning driver in the Navigation Trial Championship, along with his regular navigator Muireann Hayes.

He plans on contesting the remaining Forestry Championship rallies this year, and would also like to tackle the Autocross series, as he has already won the opening round a few weeks ago.

His most memorable performances to date have been his two National titles, and also his and Muireann’s win in the 2016/17 Munster Navigation Trial Championship.

Derek is in the third year of four, as an apprentice toolmaker. He is sponsored by DMRR, Gordon Automotive, Kegs Direct Ireland, Mackarel Garden Products, and Conlon Travel.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, along with the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

Wilson is nominated for Young Rally Driver of the Year

Posted: May 31, 2018 3:44 AM

James Wilson has been nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performances in January and February.

The 23 year-old from Armagh drove his Peugeot 208 to a clear win in the Junior class of the opening round of the Valvoline National Forestry Rally Championship, run by Carrick-on-Suir MC.

James drove in his first rally in 2013 at the wheel of a Peugeot 106, but only began competing regularly two years ago. He won the Northern Ireland Junior title that year, progressing to the Irish Tarmac series in 2017, where he scored a class win in his 208.

This was the highlight of his career to date, as it continued a fine tradition which makes him the third generation member of his family to win a class in the Irish Tarmac Championship – his grandparents, James and Hilary, achieved this in 1981, and his father Trevor repeated the success ten years later.

James plans on continuing in the Valvoline Forestry events for the rest of the year, as well as tackling the British Championship, which gets under way this weekend with the Pirelli Rally in the North of England. With a busy year of driving on gravel surfaces under his belt, he then hopes to launch a serious assault on the British title in 2019.

He works as an engineer in the family business, Road Tankers Armagh, who are also one of his sponsors, along with Philip White Tyres, James Wilson Garage Services, and TEC Industrial of Dublin.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, along with the highest placed eligible drivers from both the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series and the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

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 2019 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Sean McHugh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2019, along with co-ordinator support.

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