The two most prestigious awards within Irish motorsport were presented to the sport’s brightest talents last evening as Monaghan’s Josh Moffett, 24, scooped the Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year while Ciaran Carey, 22, from Rathoath, Co Meath, won the Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year.
The awards ceremony took place at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
For Moffett, it completed an unique family double as his brother Sam won the award in 2011 — it is the first occasion that members of the same family have won the award since its inception in 2000.
A former National Forest champion (2015) Josh took his first international victory when he won the Cork “20” Rally last October.
Earlier in the season he won his home event, the Monaghan Rally. National Junior champion Gary McNamee from Oldcastle, County Meath and Irish Tarmac R2 winner Callum Devine of Claudy, County Derry were the runners-up.
Moffett will receive support to the value of €50,000 for the 2017 season.
Sexton Trophy winner Carey beat off Mullingar’s Jordan Dempsey and Dubliner Andy O’Brien for the coveted racing award.
He won the Boss Ireland Championship taking five outright wins, three second places and four third place finishes en-route to being crowned champion.
He plans to compete in the British Formula 3 Cup next year.
Meanwhile, Citroen works driver for the next two seasons, Craig Breen, won the Manley Memorial Trophy for the International Driver of the Year.
Selected by the motor sport media, the Waterford driver, who had four outings in this year’s World Championship with the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, had a season best result of third on Rally Finland.
Irish Tarmac champions Ballylickey’s Keith Cronin and Killarney’s Mikie Galvin were honoured for winning the inaugural FIA Celtic Trophy.
Others honoured for winning their group were David Guest/ Paddy Robinson (Group N/ERT2) and Callum Devine/ Keith Moriarty (ERT3 and ERT Junior).
In kart racing, the Neil Shanahan Memorial Trophy was won by National Kart champion Sé Óg Martin (13) from Dunloy, County Antrim.
The Ivan Webb Memorial Award (most outstanding contribution to Irish Motorsport) went to Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett, who has been an integral part of Irish motorsport for many years and sponsor of the Irish National Championship through the Triton Showers brand.
Cork’s James O’Brien won the JC Millard Memorial Award (clubman of the Year) honouring his contribution to the sport both as an organiser and competitor. The Dromtarriffe man is the first and only competitor to have won all four Irish Rally Championships — Tarmac, National, Forestry and Navigation.
Speaking at the ceremony, Motorsport Ireland President Martin McKenna said:
“Every year it becomes harder for the selection panels to choose the winners of the various categories.
“The pool of very talented and skilled drivers is growing each season and alongside our partners in Sport Ireland, we are excited about the future for the sport.”
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