Sergio Vallejo to fly the BFGoodrich Drivers Team flag on the IRC's Rally Principe de Asturias (Spain)
Fifteen Spanish journalists gathered along with representatives of BFGoodrich and Kronos Racing in Madrid last Friday to nominate Sergio Vallejo as the Spaniard who will defend the colours of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team on the Rally Principe de Asturias, the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (September 11-13, 2008.) BFGoodrich and Kronos had drawn up a shortlist of five finalists, with Sergio taking the decision thanks to a score of nine votes after the second round of polling. The other four finalists were Yeray Lemes, Xavier Pons, Alberto Monarri and Victor Senra.
The BFGoodrich Drivers Team gives selected crews from five countries (Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy) a unique opportunity to contest their respective home rounds of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). All applications are carefully examined with the help of the national governing body of the country in question and an initial shortlist of five drivers is drawn up by Kronos Racing and BFGoodrich. The next phase gives the local media a chance to vote for the driver of their choice.
Sergio Vallejo, who was selected to contest the Spanish round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the BFGoodrich-backed, Kronos-run Peugeot 207 Super 2000, will join forces with the team's resident drivers Freddy Loix and Nicolas Vouilloz.
The car and the BFGoodrich Drivers Team driver will be in the care of Kronos Racing, the same Belgian operation which took Sebastien Loeb to the World Rally Championship title in 2006.
Sergio Vallejo could barely conceal his surprise when he was told of the result by telephone:
"I didn't know which other four drivers were in the running, and I realise now that I was up against some pretty stiff opposition. So that makes it an even bigger surprise and I'm both thrilled and moved to have won the day. I would like to thank all the journalists who took part in the vote, as well as BFGoodrich and Kronos for putting together this fantastic programme!"
Sergio Vallejo drove the Peugeot 207 S2000 for the first time today near Santander, in the Bilbao region of Spain. The objective of the session was to give him a chance to get a feel for the car and also familiarise himself with BFGoodrich's range of tyres.
Javier Sanz, Sporting Director, RFEA (Real Federation Espagnola de Automovilismo):
"The BFGoodrich Drivers Team is a very important programme for our organisation because there are no other projects like this to promote rallying in Spain. The RFEA obviously supports this unique sort of project, especially since it allows us to enjoy an involvement with such a reputed brand as BFGoodrich, as well as with such a strong team as Kronos. We are very pleased with the result and delighted to have been given this opportunity to support this high profile operation."
Frederic Henry -Biabaud (BFGoodrich Competition Director):
"Today was the final election of the 2008 BFGoodrich Drivers Team operation because this year's programme featured five events. It has met with resounding success from the outset, and I would like to thank all the journalists of the five countries concerned for their individual contributions. Each time, they chose a first class ambassador to represent their country. On the next round of the IRC, the Rally Principe de Asturias, it will be Sergio Vallejo's turn to drive the BFGoodrich Peugeot 207 S2000 and we wish him the best of luck. The BFGoodrich Drivers Team driver in the Czech Republic came fourth on his event and we are looking forward to seeing how much support Sergio Vallejo gets from the Spanish rally fans."