Finalists for motor awards named

MOTORSPORT IRELAND announced the finalists for both the Young Rally Driver and Young Racing Driver of the Year Awards to be presented at next month’s Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards.

The Coleman Award, with a €50,000 package for the winner, has been whittled down to three drivers — Monaghan pair Sam Moffett and Daniel McKenna along with Dubliner, Douglas Stewart.

Moffett won the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the 21-year old Clontibret ace also netted second overall in the series.

McKenna also took third overall in a round of the Dunlop series and also won the Ford Escort Mk. 2 Challenge category. Last June, the 24-year-old punched in the second fastest time on the opening stage of the Donegal International Rally. Both are wildcard choices for the Coleman award while Stewart was a nominee from the National Forest Championship. The 26-year-old won his class on the Moonraker Forestry Rally in Lismore.

Meanwhile, the top three finalists for the Dunlop Sexton Trophy (the racing equivalent of the Coleman award), Niall Murray, Andy O’Brien and Aron Smith are all from Dublin. Smith had his success in Britain competing in the Air Asia Clio Cup where he notched up three wins and nine podium finishes to take the runner-up spot in the championship. Murray participated in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship, he had two wins along with eight podium finishes. O’Brien won the Irish Ginetta Junior Championship.

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