Craig Breen and Eddie Jordan were two of the winners at today’s Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards in Dublin. Breen, who recently won the World Rally Championship Academy after a spectacular win at Rally Great Britain, won the International Driver of the Year Award for his outstanding achievements throughout 2011.
Jordan was presented with the Motorsport Ireland Hall of Fame Award for everything that he has contributed to motorsport both in Ireland and internationally over the past 40 years. Jordan was delighted to receive the award saying; “I am absolutely delighted to be here to accept this prestigious honour. I have had a long association with Motorsport Ireland and it is 20 years ago now since the F1 team started and I am proud that we had so many Irish people centrally involved with the team success.
I hope we will see a second Irish Grand Prix team sometime in the future. The team always had great support from Ireland and I think everyone was proud of the highlights – the four Grand Prix wins – the battle for the Constructors and drivers titles in 1999 and providing the debut drives for Michael Schumacher and others. I want to thank everyone in Motorsport Ireland for this award which I am truly delighted and honoured to receive,” Jordan finished by saying.
The Billy Coleman Award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year went to Monaghan’s Sam Moffett who excelled in 2011 winning the Group N section of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and finished third in the Group N category of the Irish Tarmac Championship.
The Dunlop Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year was awarded to Dubliner Aron Smith who had a very good season in the UK where he competed in the Air Asia Clio Cup. The 22 year old finished runner-up in the Championship while also winning a point on his debut in the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.
Double Irish Rally Champion Tim McNulty was also there along with co-driver Paul Kiely as they received their awards for winning the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Championship this year, the first driver and navigator to achieve the double.
The Ivan Webb Memorial award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Irish Motorsport went to Tom Walsh, who is a member of the Mayo and District Motorclub for his contribution to Irish motorsport including playing an integral part in Rally Ireland as Clerk of the Course and helping to manage some of Ireland’s top motorsport talents such as Billy Coleman and Shaun Gallagher.
Joe Corcoran, President of Motorsport Ireland, said; “Today is about celebrating the achievements of our young drivers in a sport that places enormous demands on their ability and determination to success at the highest level. All the winners today can be very proud of their successes throughout the year and they are an example for all young people in sport.”
Winners – Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Champions of Irish Motorsport 2011:
International Driver of the Year – Craig Breen
Motorsport Ireland Hall of Fame – Eddie Jordan
Young Racing Driver of the Year Award – Aron Smith
Young Rally Driver of the Year Award – Sam Moffett
Most Outstanding Contribution to Motorsport – Tom Walsh, Mayo and District Motorclub
Dunlop National Stage Rally Champion Driver – Tim McNulty
Dunlop National Stage Rally Champion Navigator – Paul Kiely
National Forestry Rally Champion Driver – Owen Murphy
National Forestry Rally Champion Navigator – James O’Brien
National Navigation Trial Champion Driver – Arthur Kierans
National Navigation Trial Champion Navigator – Ashley McAdoo
Tarmac Rally Organisers Association Champions – Tim McNulty & Paul Kiely
National Racing Champion – Lee Newsome
National Kart Champion – Richie Faulkner
National Junior Kart Champion – Odhran Henry
National Rallycross Champion – Tommy Graham
National Autocross Saloon Champion – Gerard T. Brennan
National Autocross Special Champion – Dermot Whyte
National Autotest Champion 2010 / 2011 – Steven Ferguson
National Hillclimb / Sprint Champion – Simon McKinley
Clubman of the Year Award – Seamus Power, Carrick-on-Suir Motorclub