Daniel McKenna has won this year’s coveted Pirelli UK Star Driver shootout after wowing a panel of five judges during a two-day competition based at the iconic motorsport complex of Sweet Lamb in Wales.
McKenna, who was also crowned the new BRC Rally 2 champion at the weekend, beat off stiff competition from five other finalists to win a full British Rally Championship campaign courtesy of tyre supplier Pirelli.McKenna, who hails from County Monaghan, will compete on all seven rounds of next year’s BRC at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 R3 supplied by DGM Motorsport.
Now in its seventh year, the Pirelli Star Driver programme has helped a number of promising drivers in their quest to become an international rally star. Previous winners include the recently-crowned British Rally Champion Jukka Korhonen who is a perfect example of a driver who has used the support and guidance from Pirelli to progress in his career.
Focusing on the lower categories and providing a leg up the ladder, Pirelli Star Driver selections this year came exclusively from the new BRC Rally Two and Junior Rally Championships. This year’s finalists included Jon Armstrong, Ruary MacLeod, Steve Rokland, Daniel McKenna, Alex Parpottas and recently-crowned British Junior Rally Champion, Ben Mckay.
The six finalists were assessed on their abilities to drive their championship car on a two-mile stage at Sweet Lamb: the same complex that is used as a rally stage in the FIA World Rally Championship. The drivers were also tested on their skills behind the wheel, media awareness, technical nous and future potential.
A panel of five judges including BRC Managing Director Mark Taylor, renowned motoring journalist Evan Rothman, Finland’s Risto Laine, Citroen Racing’s Jean-Francois Lienere and former Subaru World Rally Team member John McLean assessed the finalists and agreed that McKenna was the most worthy prizewinner.