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Josh McErlean shortlisted for Billy Coleman Young Driver of the Year award

Kilrea driver hoping to follow in the footsteps of Callum Devine

 Kilrea Motorsport star Josh McErlean's season highlights

McErlean celebrates winning the British title

Kilrea's Josh McErlean has been shortlisted in the final three for the Motorsport Ireland’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award.

McErlean, David Kelly, from Donegal Town and Clones' Derek Mackarel were drawn from nine candidates who were nominated on the back of their performances this year.

All the finalists faced a rigorous selection process which included interviews from a panel of judges comprising representatives from Irish motorsport, Sport Ireland and the media.  

All three drivers are in the running for the prestigious Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award, which has a prize fund of €100,000. 

McErlean won the Junior British Rally Championship in his Peugeot 208 R2 following maximum scores on the West Cork, Pirelli International and Ulster Rallies.

"All the nominees for the Billy Coleman Award were of an outstanding calibre this year – and David, Derek, and Josh are thoroughly deserving finalists," stated John Naylor, President of Motorsport Ireland.

“Importantly, all nine nominees will get the opportunity to further develop their talent as part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, which bodes well for the future of Irish rallying on domestic and international fronts." 

The overall winner of the 2019 award will be announced at the MIS Motorsport Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, December 10 at the City West Hotel, Dublin. 

The winner will receive €100,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally and internationally in 2020. 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.

Park's Callum Devine has been a recent winner of the title currently held by James Wilson.

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