Kilkenny driver Jack Brennan will compete on his first International rally as the Billy Coleman Award Young Rally Driver of the Year winner this weekend. Brennan was named as the youngest ever Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year winner at a special ceremony in Dublin in December.
The 19-year-old from Mooncoin has placed an entry for the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally in his Peugeot 208 Rally4.
The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy member will make his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship debut in Galway, in what will be his first two-day rally in Ireland.
While his full 2024 programme has yet to be announced, his appearance in Galway will be followed by a trip to Kerry two weeks later for the opening round of the Motorsport Ireland Junior Rally Series.
He will face at least ten other Rally4 drivers in Galway in what is sure to be the benchmark for young Irish drivers for the year ahead.
Class challengers for Brennan include Keelan Grogan, Casey Jay Coleman, Joseph Kelly, Ryan McHugh, and Cian Caldwell as well as local favourite, Aoife Raftery, the only female driver in the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy.
“Our main point in going to Galway is for seat time. We have never driven the Peugeot on tarmac before, so just looking for a good clean rally,” he said
“You always want to do your best, but look at the calibre of the entry. It will be nice to be trading times with the likes of Keelan, Aoife, Casey Jay, and Ryan, to name just a few. Galway is really a test for us and getting used to the car. We are really looking forward to Galway”.
Brennan has attracted support from Slattery’s Garage (Puckane), the north Tipperary Peugeot dealer for the Galway International Rally.
“It is great to have Slattery’s on board as sponsor for Galway. Getting sponsored by a Peugeot dealer is definitely a big help, a big stepping stone for my career. That we have been noticed by a Peugeot dealer,” added Brennan.
The rally will get underway with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square at 8 pm on February 2.
Two action-packed days, centred on Galway Airport will follow ahead of the official awards ceremony at the Connaught Hotel on Sunday night.
A capacity entry has been confirmed for the first major rally of the year and the event is the opening round of the 2024 Samdec Irish Tarmac Rally Championship
Jack Brennan Motorsport is supported by Slattery’s Peugeot Puckane | Ashgrove Transport | AD Test Centre & Auto Garage | Tom Geraghty Tyres | J Ryan Haulage Ltd | Longs Autobody | Croke International | Alan O’Riordan Motors | Bok Forklifts | Murphy Cars | Laffan Concrete Pumping
Text by Sean Moriarty
Headline picture at the top of article: Legendary Irish Rally driver Billy Coleman presents the Young Rally Driver of the Year award to Jack Brennan at the Motorsport Ireland Awards. Photo: Michael Chester