APRC Pirelli “Seach for a Star”

As part of a worldwide programme, the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship has launched the Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ scheme, a project aimed at investing in the growth of the sport and, in particular, helping younger drivers reach World Championship level. The successful driver from the region will win a drive in a series of six FIA World Rally Championship events in a Group N or Super 2000 car supplied and serviced under an FIA contract with a specialist preparation company.

The Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ scheme is a worldwide search for five young rally drivers from the 2008 and 2009 FIA Regional Championships, with one driver emerging from each of the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. Two competitors will be selected from the European region. The successful drivers from each year will then contest six World Championship rallies the following season.

Details for the Asia Pacific region are as follows:

– The qualifying events in 2008 are Rally Whangarei and Rally Malaysia, and in 2009 Rally Canberra and Rally Indonesia* (*subject to travel advisories).

– Competitors must be under the age of 27 on 1st January in the year of the Regional

Championship and be permanent residents of a country within the Asia or Pacific regions.

Competitors from all countries in the region will be eligible, regardless of registration for the APRC.

– Competitors may use any car that qualifies for the APRC.

– On each qualifying event, eligible drivers will be awarded points for consistency of speed. Three points will be awarded for each fastest stage time, two points for second fastest and one point for third fastest on each stage.

– On each qualifying event, a separate classification for the Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ will be drawn from the general classification.

– The first and second placed eligible competitors from the Pacific event will receive financial assistance to contest the qualifying Asia event.

– the Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ Final

– The overall eligible winner of the Asia event will be named the Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ of the region and will contest six FIA World Rally Championship events the following season.

The project will also provide funding for personal development, fitness and safety programmes, as well as additional promotional opportunities.

The Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ scheme is a new initiative and is in accordance with the FIA’s agreement with Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturer designated by the FIA as the official tyre supplier to the FIA World Rally Championship. It provides for the investment of funding in international rallying.

During 2008 and 2009, ways in which to develop the scheme – including the opportunity for the most successful Star Driver to be offered a test drive by a registered WRC team – will be studied.

For further information, please contact:

Paul Mallard APRC Secretariat (Mob) +64 21 272 5596 Email paul@rallynz.org.nz

Murray Brown APRC Co-Ordinator (Mob) +64 21 464 921 Email murray.brown@xtra.co.nz

This article originally appeared on aprc.tv.