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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Young Rally Driver of the Year - September-October 2016 Nomination

Calnan gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

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

Eric Calnan (Peugeot 106) photo - Rally through a lens

The 25 year-old from Carrigaline, Co Cork, drove his Peugeot 106 to victory in the Junior sections of both the Cork 20 International and last weekend’s Fastnet Rally, finishing in a tremendous eleventh place overall in the Skibbereen event. Earlier in the year, he took third position in the Junior section of the International Rally of the Lakes, and was runner-up in the Southern 4 Championship for the second year in succession.

Eric began rallying in 2013, and has contested the Southern 4 series from 2014 onwards. He intends to tackle either the Triton Showers National Rally Championship or the Irish Tarmac series in 2017.

Eric is a self-employed mechanical engineer in Novartis, in Ringaskiddy, Cork. His principal sponsor is, with further assistance from Colin Byrne of Midleton, Donal O’Brien Cars, TM Valeting and Shane Fitzgerald Evo Signs, of Cork.

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.

Eric 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.

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