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'Pirelli Star Driver' Selection by Top Class Jury

Some great names from rallying's past and present will form the judging panel for the Pirelli Star Driver competition. A total of 17 young drivers from Europe, plus one each from Central America and South America, will fight it out in Austria for two six-event World Rally Championship programmes next year in Europe, with a Group N or Super 2000 car backed by the FIA and Pirelli.

Milan, 22 October 2008 - Everything is now ready in Freistadt, close to Linz (Austria), for the pan-European Pirelli Star Driver selection process. This unique event will decide who gets two of the five Group N or Super 2000 cars available for six European rounds of the World Rally Championship next year (in Portugal, Italy, Greece, Finland, Spain and Great Britain WRC events).

A panel of true experts will have the responsibility of selecting the drivers who will go through. These people are Walter Rohrl and Michele Mouton (both former stars of the World Rally Championship), David Evans (journalist), Mario Isola (Pirelli's Rally Manager), Joao Passos (rally organiser) and Kevin Morris (team manager, Tommi Makinen Racing).

On Saturday and Sunday, 17 young drivers from all four corners of Europe will do battle in Austria, as well as one South American driver and one Central American driver.

The participating drivers are all emerging talents who have been selected by their respective national sporting authorities (ASNs) and comply with a strict age limit, being less than 27 years old on January 1 2009. To the right ,above the picture of Pirelli Scorpion Tyres, is the list of candidates who will fight out the Pirelli Star Driver selection process in Freistadt.

Pirelli Star Drivers

Austria - Franz Wittmann jr

Belgium - Thierry Neuville

Bulgaria - Todor Slavov

Codasur region - Victor Galeano 

Czech Republic - Martin Semerad

Finland - Jarkko Nikara

France - Guillaume Canivenq

Germany - Hermann Gassner

Ireland - Keith Cronin

Italy - Simone Campedelli

Nacam region - Benito Guerra Jr.

Norway - Sveinung Bielvedt

Poland - Radoslav Typa

Portugal - Antonio Rodrigues

Spain - Yeray Lemes

Sweden - Joakim Nyman

Turkey - Emre Yurdakul

United Kingdom - Adam Gould

October 2008