/ Motorsport

World champion Craig Breen named Driver of the Year at the Irish Motorsport Awards

Updated: Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012 16:19 | Comments

Craig Breen pictured with model Rachel Wallace at the awards
Craig Breen pictured with model Rachel Wallace at the awards

Craig Breen has been named Driver of the Year at the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards.

Breen secured his second successive World title last month when he won the S2000 category of the World Rally Championship following his victory in the WRC Academy in 2011.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Dublin, Breen reflected on what has been a hugely successful, but also emotional year after he lost his best friend and co-driver, Gareth Roberts, during a tragic accident in June.

He said: “Winning this trophy 12 months ago was a huge privilege and now to win it for a second time is unbelievable. It has been a difficult year but to finally secure the championship (SWRC) in Spain was justification of my decision to continue.

"I want to thank Motorsport Ireland and particularly Joe Corcoran, Alex Sinclair and James Coleman for their support throughout the year." 

In the aftermath of the accident it took some time to decide on my next step but after making the decision to continue, I knew it was the correct one. I love every minute of what I do and it's times like this that I can look back on in years to come.

"The second half of the season has been difficult at times but to come back and win three rounds out of four in the SWRC has been very rewarding.

The Billy Coleman award for the Young Rally Driver of the Year went to Monaghan’s Daniel McKenna ahead of runners up Dean Raftery and Stephen Wright. 

The Dunlop Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year was awarded to Kevin O’Hara ahead of runners up Stephen Daly and Jake Byrne. 

Irish National Rally champion Brian O’Mahony was awarded the Vard Memorial Trophy along with co-driver John Higgins, who received the Noel Smith Memorial trophy, for their Dunlop National Rally Championship victory.

Enda Sherry was also in attendance to receive his and Darren Gass’ award as the Tarmac Rally Champions from this year.

The Ivan Webb Memorial award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Irish Motorsport went to Eoin Longworth from Birr and District Motor Club who has been an integral part of the Irish motorsport community for the past 20 years.

The JC Millard Memorial Award for Clubman of the Year went to Paul Kiely from the Connacht Motor Club for his contribution both on and off the roads as a competitor winning several national rally titles and an organiser who is integral to the Sligo Stages Rally and inputs nationally to the Dunlop Rally Championship. 

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