The Billy Coleman Award - for the Young Rally Driver of the Year(View Previous Winners)

The Billy Coleman Award was created in the year 2000 to help young Irish rally drivers take the next step into international rallying and emulate the achievements of the great Billy Coleman.

The first recipient of the award, Rory Galligan, certainly fulfilled that ambition and competed as a works driver for Peugeot and Mitsubishi. Subsequent winners have continued that success, including 5 British Rally Championship titles and Junior World Rally Championship successes.

Sport Ireland fully recognises motorsport and are a partner in the award scheme ensuring a much improved package and giving the award higher status. The clubs running rallies under a national permit also contribute to the initiative.

All press releases relevant to the Billy Coleman Award will be published in the news section below but you will find much more content on the official Billy Coleman Award Facebook page.


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Armstrong gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

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

The 26 year-old from Virginia, Co Cavan, drove his Ford Escort to outright victory in the Laois Heartlands Rally, and went on to finish ninth in the ALMC event a couple of weeks later, beaten only by four-wheel-drive Supercars. Earlier in the year, Chris took third place and a class win in the Midland Moto event.

Chris Armstrong (Ford Escort) - photo by Paul McIlroy

Chris began rallying in 2009, and improved steadily to score his first overall win in the 2013 Midland Rally at Roscommon. He repeated this feat in the 2014 GSMC Rally, and has also won his category in the Killarney Historic Rally.

He is contesting the Ulster Rally, based in Derry City, this weekend, a round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, and intends doing some forestry events before the end of the year, along with the Galway, GSMC and Killarney Historic Rallies.

Chris runs a business hiring barriers and equipment, and his principal sponsors are Wilton Waste Recycling, Leo Forde Water Services, CA Event Hire, Millbrook Motors (Oldcastle), KES Energi (Drumquin), Crozier Motorsport,, and Valerie’s Clothes Care.

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 2017 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2017, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Triton Showers National series, the winner of the Junior category in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

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