FUTURE STAR KRUUDA SCOOPS ABU DHABI SPIRIT OF THE RALLY AWARD Trier, Germany. 23 August 2010: FIA World Rally Championship's (WRC) youngest ever competitor - 17-year-old Estonian Karl Kruuda - has been recognised for his achievements and ...
FUTURE STAR KRUUDA SCOOPS ABU DHABI SPIRIT OF THE RALLY AWARD
Trier, Germany. 23 August 2010: FIA World Rally Championship's (WRC) youngest ever competitor - 17-year-old Estonian Karl Kruuda - has been recognised for his achievements and dedication to his racing career with the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award at Rallye Deutschland.
The award recognises the Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) driver's determination and tenacity at every rally he has competed in during his first WRC season earning him respect for his persistence in the pursuit of experience.
And with success in two recent events, when he became the youngest ever J-WRC driver to finish on the podium, claiming second at Rally de Portugal, and finishing third at this weekend's event in Germany, the dynamic Estonian teenager has shown he is one to watch for the future.
"This has been a good rally and I am very glad to receive this award," said Kruuda. "Germany has been tough, the roads have been some of the hardest, but rally by rally I am starting to get better and I am happy with how I have done."
The 'Spirit of the Rally' award, created by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), is presented at each WRC round to mark an outstanding feat of leadership, integrity, respect or teamwork. Kruudas' impressive performances, with so little prior experience, were judged to have demonstrated not only a true work ethic and will to succeed, but a natural ability that could get the Estonian to the top of the WRC.
The Spirit of the Rally recognition holds particularly high value for Kruuda as unfortunately he is forced to end his J-WRC title pursuit in Germany. Currently sitting in second position overall, Kruudas' age prevents him from holding a legal driving licence within some of the WRC rounds host countries.
At some events this obstacle is overcome by Kruudas' co-driver, 22-year-old fellow Estonian Martin Jarveoja, who is able to drive their Suzuki on the road sections between stages. However, for the J-WRC rounds in France and Spain this is not possible and the rising champion will have to wait until 2011 to continue his campaign for experience and victory.
"Grass roots programmes are essential to the long-term growth and development of any sport. The JWRC has produced many champions, including Sebastian Loeb, and with a display of such natural ability, there is a promising future for Karl in the WRC," said Dayne Lim, Product Development Director, ADTA.
Kruudas' performance is something that will also be keenly watched by Abu Dhabi's Junior Drivers as they too look to develop and build up on their experience while competing in the Fiesta SportTrophy International.