Irish ASN project instrumental in Devine’s ERC opportunity
Confirmation of Callum Devine’s FIA European Rally Championship bid for 2020 owes plenty to an initiative created by his country’s motorsport federation to help young talents rise to the top.
The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, now in its second year, is designed to develop, support and promote young Irish rally drivers as they progress to the sport’s highest echelons.
Devine is one of three young talents to benefit from the scheme along with Josh McErlean and James Wilson, who will compete in the British and Irish championships respectively.
Leo Hassett, CEO Motorsport Ireland, said: “It is a great testament to the work of the Academy that we are in [this] position. These young men and their co-drivers have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in the sport both at home and internationally.
“This unique opportunity is only possible because of the incredible support we have received from Sport Ireland, the Team Ireland Foundation, which is generously supported by, amongst others, John Coyne and John Campion.
“Of course, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and their work with the academy also needs to be acknowledged. As important is the proven ability of the Billy Coleman Award process to identify talent and reward its participants with this type of experience that will be invaluable in their future careers as drivers representing Ireland on the international stage.”
Sean McHugh, Co-ordinator of the MI Rally Academy said: “We are delighted to see these three young Irish drivers moving forward in developing their careers. Having the winners of the Billy Coleman Award for each of the last three years progress to top-flight cars contesting major championships at home and abroad demonstrates the significant impact of the Rally Academy initiative.”