Rossi rewarded for perfect partnership with Stobart
Wales Rally GB has seen a relationship blossom this weekend between MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi and the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team. When the two-wheeled champion made the decision to contest the final round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship the Stobart squad were more than happy to accommodate and help his cause to raise funds for the Children in Need charity.
Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler and COO William Stobart were delighted with the presence of the six-time MotoGP champion and the atmosphere he generated around the team's service area and indeed the entire event.
"The Stobart team has done a great job here on our home event. I am really pleased that Valentino came to drive one of our cars and we have both worked extremely well together; he is a fantastic draw for fans and spectators and we have had a massive interest in the team. Some of his splits and stage times have been really impressive.
"Valentino's run here has really raised the global and national media exposure for both the team and Stobart Group. To have the support of a motorsport legend for our home event is a real boost and is something really special to end off a great year in business for Stobart Group and a great year in motorsport for our rally team." said Tinkler.
Rossi also generated a phenomenal amount of publicity and media coverage and ramped up the global exposure the team already achieve through the World Rally Championship.
Fans too greatly enjoyed the presence of the champ who was more than happy to meet his supporters in Great Britain. The Italian thoroughly enjoyed his time with the entire Ford family and his time behind the wheel of the Stobart Ford Focus RS WRC.
"We have had a great time here with the Stobart team and everyone has worked fantastically well together," commented Rossi. "I have really enjoyed this rally, especially when we got some fast times today and hopefully we will get a chance to work again together with Stobart."
Rossi was also awarded the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award today. The fact he entered one of the calendar's toughest WRC rounds and put his reputation on the line speaks volumes for the man and the entire WRC family. To come out with such a highly commendable finish shows his unique natural ability. The Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award recognises parties demonstrating the same values that the UAE capital stands for: respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork. It also acknowledges a positive contribution to the WRC by any of the myriad of parties involved in the sport.
"I'm very proud to receive the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award. I think it is a great idea for Abu Dhabi to provide this and it helps to show the effort that people put into motorsport." He added.