O’Connor gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination
June 8, 2012 by Paul Phelan
Kevin O’Connor has been nominated for the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award following his performances in March and April this year.
The Askeaton, Co Limerick driver scored class wins in both the West Cork Rally in March and the Circuit of Ireland International at Easter, followed by 2nd place in class in the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney. He leads the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland after the first three rounds and plans to complete the lucrative series.
Kevin reached the interview stage of the Billy Coleman Award in 2009, at the age of 19, when he drove a Peugeot 205, winning his class in the National Junior Rally Championship. The following year, he was runner up in the Junior section of the Dunlop National Rally Championship at the wheel of a Citroen C2R2 and again qualified for interview.
For 2011, he stayed with the same car, but it suffered from some reliability problems and he was forced to retire from several rallies. This year, the 22 year old has switched to the more powerful C2 Max version of the Citroen and is having his most successful year to date.
The young driver hopes to contest the British Rally Championship in 2013 and would like to graduate to the FIA World Rally Championship Academy in 2014.
Kevin is currently in his final year of Automation & Control Technology studies at Limerick Institute of Technology
He is sponsored by Dan Mulcahy Motor Factors, Newcastle West and O’Farrell Bus & Tyres, Shanagolden.
The award has been revamped this year with five bi-monthly winners selected from January / February, through to September / October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National Championship, the highest placed eligible driver from the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, in the award finalists.
The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year receives €50,000 worth of support to compete in stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2013 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners up will receive free entry into a number of MI permitted events in 2013 along with co-ordinator support.