Jake Byrne proudly poses with his Sexton Trophy award – Photo: Leo Nulty Promotions

Three front-running drivers from Canada and Ireland from this season's Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Championships have been given special awards for their achievements this year

Patrick Dussault’s superb season in the BRSCC’s National Formula Ford 1600 Championship has been recognised in his homeland of Canada where Auto Sport Quebec presented him with the Bertrand Fabi Trophy which is awarded annually to the best National and International driver.The presentation was made in Montreal, a city where Dussault is a native, in honour of his runner-up finish in the National FF1600 series having recorded 6 wins and made 10 appearances on the podium. In addition, he won a F1600 support race at the Canadian Grand Prix. By any standards, 2015 was an excellent season for Patrick but his performances were even more impressive when his lack of experience is taken into account.

This was the 23 year old’s second full year in any form of motorsport.The award was established to honour the memory of Bertrand Fabi, the very talented Canadian who was tipped for greatness but lost his life in an accident at Goodwood when testing in preparation for the 1986 British Formula 3 Championship.

Hot on the heels of Dussault, two more familiar faces from the BRSCC FF1600 paddock were recognised for their achievements at the Motorsport Ireland prize-giving in Dublin at the start of December.The Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 National Champion, Jonny McMullan, was named 2015 International Racing Driver of the Year. This was a huge surprise to the 23 year old who took UK FF1600 by storm this season with a series of fantastic performances. As he received the 2014 Young Driver of the Year Award at the same ceremony 12 months ago, Jonny thought he had just been invited back out of courtesy. He had no idea a major honour was about to be handed out to him.

Taking over the Young Driver of the Year mantle was another star of BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 in the shape of 21 year old Jake Byrne. As well as winning the Sexton Trophy, just like his predecessor he will enjoy a fully funded season behind the wheel of the Bernard Dolan tended Dunlop-sponsored Van Diemen LA10 which McMullan used to such good effect in 2015.Byrne must start next year’s National campaign as one of the favourites but a very competitive entry is expected for the 2016 season as (subject to being under 25 next September) the champion will be eligible to take part in the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout over in America where they’ll compete against drivers from all over the Globe for a chance to win a seat in the 2017 USF2000 series.

Dave Williams


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