Super six selected for inclusion in MI Rally Academy for 2022
Following the decision not to award the Billy Coleman Award for the second year in a row due to the Covid restrictions limiting the amount of competition that could be held, it was proposed that this season, six drivers would be selected from a self-application process, for inclusion in the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy for the 2022 season in line with the recently updated Appendix 16 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook.
Following a final meeting of the adjudication panel for the Billy Coleman Award on Monday Dec 20th, six drivers were chosen from a pool of almost twenty for inclusion in the MI Rally Academy for 2022.
The six selected drivers are:
• William Creighton (2021 BRC Junior Champion and multiple Junior WRC stage winner)
• David Kelly (2021 BRC Junior front runner and former Billy Coleman Award finalist)
• Eamonn Kelly (2021 BRC Junior runner up)
• Kyle McBride (Former Irish J1000 Champion)
• Patrick O’Brien (2021 Bushwhacker Rally winner & former Irish Forestry Junior Champion)
• Aoife Raftery (2021 BRC Academy Trophy runner up)
Commenting on the announcement of the six selections, Sean McHugh Billy Coleman Award and Rally Academy Co-ordinator for Motorsport Ireland commented;
“I’m looking forward to working with William, David, Eamonn, Kyle, Patrick and Aoife in 2022 and I think there’s a really good blend of youth and experience in the group . We have a number of development days planned for 2022 and I look forward to introducing this new group to our stakeholders as we continue to grow the Academy which is very much beginning to establish itself as a performance pathway for young Irish rally drivers.”
Joe Corcoran, convenor for the Billy Coleman Award in 2021 said;
“For the second year running an overall winner of the Billy Coleman award is not being announced. However with the agreement of all the stakeholders the top six competitors from the awards process will be supported with a competitions package for 2022. It’s fantastic to see the strength and professionalism of the all the applicants and I have no doubt we will see great progress in the year ahead. I wish to thank the adjudication panel for their hard work in what was a difficult task, and to wish the unsuccessful candidates well for the future. On behalf of Motorsport Ireland can I wish the chosen six well in their competition programme with the MI Rally Academy under Sean’s guidance.”