By John Kenny
Craig Breen, who won the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy class this year, has been named as the Motorsport Ireland International Driver of the Year.
Breen, a former Billy Coleman award winner for Young Rally Driver of the Year, had an outstanding season, twice finishing in the points on separate Intercontental Rally Challenge rounds including a magnificent fourth place in the Rally of Scotland.
The Waterford driver took the WRC Academy title after an unbelievable climax to Rally GB where he won the last five stages to take the title on count-back from Estonian Egon Kaur and earn a prize package of €500,000 for winning the one-make series.
Aron Smith was awarded the Young Racing Driver of the Year and a prize fund of €50,000.
Smith had all of his success in the UK in 2011, as he competed in the Air Asia Clio Cup with three wins and nine podium finishes to his name as he finished runner-up.
He also competed in a round of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, where he scored a point on his debut.
Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (21) was crowned the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year after he won the Group N section of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and also finished third in Group N of the Irish Tarmac.
Eddie Jordan was inducted into the Motorsport Ireland Hall of Fame joining Derek Daly, Rosemary Smith, Billy Coleman, Michael Roe, Alec Poole, the late Noel Smith and Martin Donnelly.