Stephane Prevot, co-driver to Chris Atkinson, has been chosen as the seventh winner of the Michael Park ‘Beef’ Trophy, an award handed out annually in memory of the late co-driver.
Park lost his life in a tragic accident on Wales Rally GB in 2005 while co-driving for his long-term partner Markko Martin.
The trophy, a bronze bust created by the French artist Francois Chevalier, is handed out near the end of each WRC season to the co-driver who has best demonstrated the qualities associated with Michael during his career, taking into account overall performances, attitude, commitment and other actions or achievements.
For 2012, the jury of four WRC personalities – Paul Turner (Michael Park’s manager), Robert Reid, Mark Wilford and Vincent Laverne – had to choose from four nominations, with Prevot beating Jonas Andersson, Daniel Elena and John Kennard to take the award.
Prevot made his WRC debut back in 1989 at Rally GB. He teamed up with Bruno Thiry for Opel in 1991 and has been a regular competitor ever since, first with Thiry, then Francois Duval and since 2007 with Chris Atkinson.
He has also partnered other drivers including Stephane Sarrazin, Evgeny Novikov and Henning Solberg. During his long career, he has worked with many top teams, including Opel, Ford, Toyota, Skoda, Peugeot, Citroën, Subaru and, in 2012, MINI.
August’s Rally Finland was Prevot’s 150th WRC start and this week in Britain he faces his 152nd event. He has yet to reach the top of the podium but has secured five second places, including the Ivory Coast Rally in 1992 and Mexico and Argentina with Atkinson in 2008.
“He is a hugely experienced but, at the same time, modest and unassuming co-driver who goes about his business in a low profile but utterly professional way, traits which were, of course, true of Michael as well,” said Turner. “Michael always had a lot of time for Stephane and I know he would absolutely approve of the decision to present him with this prestigious award today in Wales.”
Prevot was presented with the trophy by Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson in front of invited media, guests and friends of Ford at its Happy Hour reception in the Wales Rally GB service park in Cardiff on Wednesday. Previous winners of the Michael Park ‘Beef’ Trophy include Daniel Elena (2006), Timo Rautiainen (2007), Denis Giraudet (2008), Jarmo Lehtinen (2009), Phil Mills (2010) and last year Ilka Minor.