In February last, for those of you not aware Kevin Eves from Pettigo, Co. Donegal received a nomination for the 2014 Billy Coleman award. This award, highly acclaimed in Motorsport circles give elite young drivers the chance to progress to the next level of Motorsport outside the island of Ireland. Kevin was nominated for his outstanding drive in this years Safety Direct Galway International Rally when he took his 1600cc Toyota Corolla to 4th overall in the event.
From here Kevin purchased a factory built Peugeot 208 R2 car in early April and had what can only be described as a very unlucky year since. The car had mechanical trouble and getting parts for the car is quite difficult so unfortunately Kevin had to sit out a few events. The only positive was that any events Kevin competed on in the car were really a great learning curve and the transition from rear wheel drive to front wheel drive was not as hard as anticipated. “It took me a few stages to adapt my driving style from the corolla, but once I got a few miles under my belt I felt comfortable. Moving from right hand drive to left hand drive was another major step but it is getting us prepared should we progress in the future” Kevin added.
Kevin set many fierce stage times in the car along with finishing the Glens of Antrim Rally some weeks ago with top class honors.
Last week Kevin embarked towards Dublin for the interview stage of the Billy Coleman award where he was grilled by a panel of experts on his plans for the coming year, his driving experience and how he plans to progress to the next level of the sport. The prize money for winning the award is €50,000, which will go a long way into progressing the career of the winner. Kevin is delighted to confirm that after a very tough interview in Dublin that he has been shortlisted into the top three for the award. “To get shortlisted for this award is such an honor for me. The competition this year was so high and all the nominees equally deserve to win this award” Kevin now has to wait for a few weeks when the winner will be announced by Motorsport Ireland in Dublin in early December.
This weekend sees Kevin and navigator Chis Melly get back into their corolla and head for the Killarney Historic Rally. This rally last year was a major confidence booster for Kevin when he brought the same car to 8th overall facing some very stiff competition. Kevin paid humble tribute to everyone who has helped him to this point “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all there support over the course of the year especially to all my sponsors, my team and Motorsport Ireland for guiding me in the right direction”