25 Sept 2022

Eamonn Kelly nominated for Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award

The Frosses driver recently captured the Junior British Rally Championship title

A head for speed: Eamonn Kelly stays relaxed in rally’s high-speed cooker

Eamonn Kelly (inset) in action at Rali Ceredigion in Wales.

Junior British Rally champion Eamonn Kelly has been nominated for the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award.

The Frosses man receives a nominated for the January-May 2022 period.

The 23-year-old last week secured the Junior British Rally Championship title at Rali Ceredigion in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Kelly competed in the Junior BRC behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta Rally4 while his campaign was also supplemented with drives in a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5.

His first class win came in the 2017 Donegal Harvest Rally and his rise has been steady, culminating in this year’s Junior BRC win.

Kelly edged closer to the overall title when winning the Grampian Forest Rally in Scotland and he sealed the deal in Wales.

The Donegal native, a son of former Irish Tarmac Rally champion Donagh Kelly, was the second Junior BRC at the Nicky Grist Rally and the Corbeau Seats Rally and won the section at the Jim Clark Rally.

This year’s Billy Coleman Award will see two qualifiers selected from the following monthly groupings: January-May, June-October. T

hese nominees will be joined by the highest placed eligible drivers from the Junior sections in the Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship and the Motorsport Ireland National Forestry Championship, the highest placed eligible drivers in the dual surface Motorsport Ireland J1600 and JR2 Junior Rally Series as well as a wildcard selection, meaning that up to seven drivers may be nominated for the award in 2022.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award will receive €100,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally and internationally in 2023.

Coupled with Sport Ireland and Motorsport Ireland’s €50,000 investment, a further €50,000 has been pledged by the Team Ireland Foundation.

The award winner will also receive assistance from Billy Coleman co-ordinator Sean McHugh.

Additional support from the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy as part of a training and development plan to progress the winners’ career will also be available, and the winner may apply for funding for a second year of support upon satisfactory performances in their award-winning year.

Both award runners up will receive support to compete in stage rallies at home and abroad up to an amount of €15,000 each.

Letterkenny man Sean Gallagher won the award in 2002 after Donegal's Stuart Darcy collected the gong in 2001. The likes of Keith Cronin, Craig Breen, Callum Devine and the Moffett brothers, Josh and Sam, are all previous recipients.

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