Award has changed everything - McErlean

Junior British Champion looking to build on incredible 2019

Award has changed everything - McErlean

Josh McErlean has dazzled on each of his R5 outings so far.

Jason Craig

Reporter:

Jason Craig

Email:

@Journojason

Josh McErlean says winning the Billy Coleman Award effectively changed his life as a young rally driver.

The 20-year-old is using the €100,000 he received as part of the award to fund a full season in a R5 rally car.

With backing from Motorsport Ireland and Hyundai Motorsport's Customer Racing division, McErlean will pilot an i20 R5 on all six rounds of the British Rally Championship.

His campaign gets underway on Saturday's Cambrian Rally where he will run near the head of the field alongside Keaton Williams. The pair have already tested the car in readiness for the opener in north Wales.

“It’s still sinking in to be honest,” said McErlean.

“We had a great season in 2019 and the opportunities to drive the Hyundai in Wales and Monza were fantastic. I certainly grabbed hold of both chances and made the most of them so that if that was the last chance I had to drive one, I'd be able to say I'd done my best.

"But winning the Billy Coleman Award changed everything for me overnight. To be involved with a full British Rally Championship programme in an R5 with support from such an iconic brand as Motorsport Ireland is incredible. It's hard to know where to start," he added.

Cambrian Rally - Top 10 Seeds
1 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5 MK2) [BRC1]
2 Tom Cave/Dale Furniss (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
3 Rhys Yates/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5 MK2) [BRC1]
4 Osian Pryce/Noel O’ Sullivan (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
5 Ollie Mellors/Ian Windress (Proton Iriz R5) [BRC1]
6 Cathan McCourt/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
7 Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) [B14]
8 Charles Payne/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta WRC) [B14]
9 Josh McErlean/Keaton Williams (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
10 George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [B13]

Pick up tomorrow's paper for a full Cambrian Rally preview

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