Promising motorsport starlets Derry’s Callum Devine, 23, and Mullingar’s Jordan Dempsey, 17, scooped the main prizes at the Beta Tools Motorsport Ireland awards ceremony at Dublin’s
Mansion House, yesterday.
Devine, who won the British Junior Rally Championship (that carried a prize of £30,000) was the wildcard selection for this year’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award and is the first Northern Ireland-based driver to win the award since its inception in 2000.
Co-driven by Limerick’s Keith Moriarty, Devine campaigned an Opel Adam R2 in the British Rally Championship with great aplomb, the highlight of his season being a class win on the Ypres Rally in Belgium.
He receives support to the value of €50,000 for the 2018 season when he will contest the Junior World Rally Championship.
Mullingar’s Jordan Dempsey netted the Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year, having previously finished runner-up.
The highest achiever in his school in this year’s Leaving Certificate, he competed in Formula Ford and won his first British Championship race at Castle Combe in
Like Devine, he also receives support to the value of €50,000 for next season.
Four-time British rally champion Keith Cronin picked up the Manley Memorial Trophy after being named the International Driver of the Year.
The Ballylickey man, who previously won this award in 2010, joined the legendary Roger Clark as a four-time winner of the BRC after he won the final round by a mere 0.1 of a second to win the series by a single point and deny hot favourite Sweden’s Fredrik Ahlin.
The Neil Shanahan Memorial Trophy was presented to Sean McCormack, 13, from Delgany, Co Wicklow.
The Motorsport Ireland National Junior Karting champion represented Ireland at the World Finals in Le Mans and is the only karter to have won Ireland’s karting Race of Champions three times.
The FIA Celtic Trophy was won by Monaghan’s Sam Moffett and his Cork co-driver Karl Atkinson. Moffett is the first driver to win all three major Irish rallying championships in the same season: The Triton National Championship, the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship and the Valvoline National Forestry Rally Championship.
The Ivan Webb Memorial Award for the most outstanding contribution to Irish
Motorsport went to Limerick Motor Club’s Kieran Ambrose, while Limerick native Ger O’Connor won the JC Millard Memorial Award for Clubman of the Year.
Motorsport Ireland president Martin McKenna said: “I spoke with a few of the judges from the various panels this year. Some of those that have been involved for several years said that this was by far the most difficult year to pick winners, such is the talent emerging in the sport.”
The ceremony was attended by Brendan Griffin, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; and Sport Ireland’s director of participation and ethics Dr Una May.
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