A Formula Three driver competing in the United States, a Monoposto 1000 pace setter racing in Britain, and an Irish-based Fiesta Zetec Championship competitor are the three drivers selected as finalists for the Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award.
Max Hart (18), from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, has been named alongside William Kellett (19), from Kells, Co Meath, and James Roe (21), from Bodenstown, Co Kildare, in the race for the prestigious Sexton Trophy and a first prize of €50,000.
The three drivers were drawn from six candidates who were nominated on the back of their performances during the course of this year. They were selected from a range of track racing disciplines and underwent a rigorous selection process in front of a judging panel comprising representatives of the racing community and the media.
Leaving Cert student Max Hart finished second in the British Monoposto 1000 Championship this year. Competing with Leastone Racing, he claimed two race wins and numerous podium finishes in his first full season racing outside of Ireland.
William Kellett won the 2019 Fiesta Zetec Championship series – achieving six race wins, nine podiums, three pole positions, and six fastest laps. Kellet, who also secured the prestigious Hawthorn Trophy this season, is in second year studying Journalism and Media at the University of Limerick and has ambitions to become a professional GT driver.
James Roe Jnr has been carving out a career in the United States in recent years and has been focusing on the F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda this year, where he picked up a win in Road America on his way to claiming fifth place in the championship. Roe’s results also helped his Global Racing Group team to win the Team Championship.
“I want to congratulate not only the three finalists but also all those nominated throughout the year,” said John Naylor, President of Motorsport Ireland. “All those selected to be interviewed in the process have shown great driving talent, which bodes well for the future of Irish racing.”
The Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award and the historic Sexton Trophy are presented to the individual who has demonstrated the most potential to represent Ireland at home and internationally both on the track as well as in the public eye. The winner will receive a €50,000 support package to help develop their motor racing career.
In addition, all three finalists will be included in the Team Ireland development programme run by Motorsport Ireland to nurture and support young drivers.
Last year’s Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of The Year, Belfast’s Charlie Eastwood (header image above), is currently leading the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMGTE AM class, having recently achieved back-to-back wins in Shanghai and Fuji with his team, TF Sport.
The overall winner of the 2019 award will be announced at the MIS Motorsport Irish Motorsport Awards ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, 10th December at the City West Hotel, Dublin. The award is presented annually and is supported by Sport Ireland and Motorsport Ireland.