Voting took place today in Prague, Czech Republic, to decide who would carry the colours of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team in the Kronos-run Peugeot 207 S2000 on next month's Barum Rally Zlin (August 22 -24), round six of the...
Voting took place today in Prague, Czech Republic, to decide who would carry the colours of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team in the Kronos-run Peugeot 207 S2000 on next month's Barum Rally Zlin (August 22 -24), round six of the 2008 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Of the 24 applications received by Mediasport.cz a shortlist of five drivers was initially drawn up by BFGoodrich and Kronos and, in the end, Pavel Valousek was chosen thanks to a score of 9 votes. The other drivers to make it into the final five were Toma Kostka (1 vote), Jaroslav Orsa k (2), Jan lehofer (3) and Karel Trojan. The votes were cast by a panel comprising 14 representatives of the Czech media, plus representative from BFGoodrich and Kronos Racing. Pavel Valousek will get his first chance to drive the car in a test session that will be organised near Namur, Belgium, on August 7.
The BFGoodrich Drivers Team programme aims to give crews from five countries (Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy) a chance to contest their respective home round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). An initial shortlist of candidates is drawn up in association with the country's motor sport governing body, and five 'finalists' are selected by BFGoodrich and Kronos. The winning crew is then chosen by a panel of journalists from the country in question.
Pavel Valousek , who was selected today to take part in the Czech's round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the colours of BFGoodrich and Kronos, will join the team's resident Peugeot 207 Super 2000 drivers, Freddy Loix and Nicolas Vouilloz . The BFGoodrich Drivers Team entry will be run and the car prepared by Kronos, the Belgian operation behind Sebastien Loeb's World Rally Championship title in 2006.
Contacted by phone just after the vote, Pavel was both surprised and moved by the news: "I am very happy and I would like to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity. It must have been a tough call to make, and that's why I would like to thank you for the confidence you have placed in me."
A test session will be organised on August 7 near Namur, Belgium, to give Pavel Valousek a chance to familiarise himself with the Peugeot 207, and also allow him to get a feel for his BFGoodrich tyres. Those journalists who voted for him will be invited to attend this test. After that, Pavel will be given a key-in-hand entry on the Barum Rally Zlin where he will be looking to finish where he will be looking for a top finish!
Frederic Henry -Biabaud (BFGoodrich Competition Director):
"Today was the third time there has been voting for the BFGoodrich Drivers Team and I am particularly pleased with the success of this operation this time round. The agency Mediasport received 24 applications in total, and that's a terrific score for the Czech Republic. The Czech journalists were very enthusiastic and we would like to thank them for their active involvement in this project by choosing the winning driver and co-driver. I am sure they will benefit from extensive media coverage. The BFGoodrich Drivers Team is an operation which seeks to give drivers from a number of countries a chance to showcase their talent within the framework of their home IRC round. With helpful support of Kronos Racing's team, they are given all the technical and human resources necessary to reach the finish. I would also like to thank Mediasport, our partner in the Czech Republic, as well as the local BFGoodrich staff for their help in organising this programme, and I am very much looking forward to the third phase of BFGoodrich Drivers Team operation on the Barum Rally Zlin."
Marc Van Dalen (Team Manager, Kronos Racing):
"I am delighted with the media's choice. Even though Pavel Valousek is still young (29), he has plenty of experience and is extremely popular. He knows the Barum Rally by heart and will be driving the same car as Freddy Loix and Nicolas Vouilloz, so he has every chance. His local knowledge will help him make up for his lack of experience in a Super 2000 car. It will also be a big asset for our team, especially when it comes to choosing our BFGoodrich tyres for this extremely fast event which takes place on very bumpy, low grip asphalt."