Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out offers great opportunity for rally talents

Today representatives of FIA, Pirelli and the organisation presented the project at press conferences in Vienna and Linz

On the occasion of the Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out 2008 this project was presented to the public today at two press conferences in Vienna and Linz. Thereby the representative of FIA, Jan Olof Sandstrom and Mario Isola from the main sponsor Pirelli, as well as organiser Ferdinand Staber (Rallye Club Muhlviertel) informed on the background and the planned course of the event which will take place from October 24 -- 25 in Freistadt (Upper Austria). Also present were the chairman of the OSK, Chief physician Prof. Dr. Harald Hertz, the chairman of the Rallye Kollegium, Gen.Dir. Dietmar Hinteregger and the secretary of the supreme national sports committee, Kurt Wagner.

Jan Olof Sandstrom (FIA): "FIA welcomes and supports this project since it breaks new grounds and offers talents the opportunity to prove themselves in the WRC. There was no fixed criterium concerning the way of chosing the drivers which differed from country to country. Some held competitions while in others the driver was chosen by the respective supreme sportive organisation."

Mario Isola (Pirelli): "Pirelli has been supporting drivers on a national level for several years. Thus the idea was born to go international, as well. The project offers the winners a great opportunity to show their prowess in a WRC."

Ferdinand Staber (Organisation): "It is a great honour and joy for us that FIA and Pirelli have chosen Austria to put this new project into action. And I am sure that the event in Freistadt will be a big success."

Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out 2008

Nineteen young drivers have been nominated by their national sporting authorities to contest the European Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out, which will take place from 23-25 October in Freistadt, Austria. In addition to a driver being nominated by each European country organising either an FIA World Rally Championship or FIA European Rally Championship event, two drivers have also been selected by the Nacam Zone (Central America) and Codasur Zone (South America).

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 Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Following the European Shoot Out, 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 in a Group N or Super 2000 car supplied and serviced under an FIA contract with a specialist preparation company. In 2009, the Pirelli Star Drivers will compete in the rallies in Portugal, Italy, Greece, Finland, Spain and Great Britain.

The Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out will be run over two special stages, each run three times, one being 75% gravel/25% asphalt (9.59 km) and the other being 100% asphalt (11.2 km). The two winners will be chosen based on their overall performance, irrespective of car and timed results, and part of the selection process will also be an interview held with each driver, in English, to assess their ability to communicate with the media. The panel of judges will consist of former famous rally drivers and representatives of Pirelli.

Between Bohmerwald and Dachstein

The tourist region of Upper Austria is characterised by its diversity

Upper Austria offers visitors a breath-taking holiday adventure in a delightful part of Austria - with its indescribable diversity of mystical woodlands, crystal-clear lakes, hot thermal springs and rugged mountains. From the striking Bohmerwald forests in the north to the historical Danube and the craggy Dachstein massif in the south, Upper Austria contains the very best of what Austria has to offer. The area is characterised by a breath-taking combination of turbulent history and forward-thinking progress.

Historical highlights such as the oldest salt mine in the world in the UNESCO world heritage region of Hallstatt stand alongside the 'Ars Electronica Center' museum of the future in Linz. Another highlight directly on the Danube is the Lentos museum of art which is already setting the tone for Linz to become cultural capital in 2009 with its unusual exhibitions. The imperial spa resort of Bad Ischl, once the summertime retreat of Kaiser Franz Josef and the picture-perfect backdrop of Gmunden on the Traunsee lake with its lake castle of Ort are world-famous treasures of the Salzkammergut region.

Along with the romantic city of Steyr, which is over a thousand years old, and the baroque town of Scharding am Inn, they are a stage for modern culture and exciting events. Upper Austria also has a great variety of food and drink to offer: the tasty speciality dishes, independently brewed beer and friendly guest houses make a visit to Upper Austria a pleasurable experience for the body and soul alike.

-credit: rallye-stardriver.eu