Mark Donnelly and his co-driver Dai Roberts have become the latest winners of the MSA British Rally Championship’s Pirelli Star Driver Shootout.

The 21 year old fended off competition from Tom Cave, Matthew Cathcart, Jussi Kumpumaki, Osian Pryce and Garry Pearson, to secure the prize, becoming the sixth recipient of the scheme’s prize, a fully funded season in the BRC.

Northern Irishman Donnelly won the season opening Rallye Sunseeker on his way to ninth in the 2012 BRC standings in his Renault Clio R3.

The six finalists were assessed on their driving abilities, piloting a Citroen DS3 R3 on a two-mile stage at Sweet Lamb, media awareness, event strategy, technical ability and future potential.

A judging panel of World Rally Championship co-driver Chris Patterson, motoring journalist Jerry Williams and experienced team representatives Jean Francois Lienere and Risto Laine selected the winner.

“I’m over the moon to have won here today, I really didn’t expect it,” said Donnelly. “It’s been a really tough couple of days with some very slippery conditions and I honestly think that it could have gone any way. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Pirelli, the British Rally Championship, Citroen and David Greer Motorsport for this fantastic opportunity. If you look at some of the people who have won with Pirelli before, it is a real honour to be chosen as this year’s Pirelli Star Driver.”