Lehtinen wins Michael “Beef” Park Trophy
- 22nd October 2009, 8:09am
The Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy is awarded annually in memory of Michael Park, who died in a tragic accident during Wales Rally GB in 2005 while co-driving for his long-term partner Markko Märtin.
Michael is much missed by the entire World Rally Championship (WRC) community. To perpetuate his memory a group of friends and colleagues - inspired by Vincent Laverne - commissioned the trophy.
The bronze bust was created by French artist François Chevalier and has been donated to his wife, Marie, and children, William and Victoria.
Each season a smaller replica trophy is awarded to a WRC co-driver who has best demonstrated the overall qualities associated with Michael during his career, taking into account overall performances, attitude, commitment and other specific actions or achievements.
The decision is made by a jury selected from the WRC community. In 2006 the inaugural trophy was presented to Daniel Elena from Monaco, in 2007 the trophy was awarded to Finland’s Timo Rautiainen and in 2008 to Denis Giraudet of France.
For 2009 the jury comprised:
• Paul Turner
• Robert Reid
• Simon Long
• Vincent Laverne
They had to choose between five nominated co-drivers:
• Phil Mills (Great Britain)
• Julien Ingrassia (France)
• Marc Marti (Spain)
• Jan Tomanek (Czech Republic)
• Jarmo Lehtinen (Finland)
We are pleased to announce that in 2009 Jarmo Lehtinen has been chosen as the fourth winner of the Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy.
His achievements include the following:
• Four WRC victories during the 2009 season and 11 during his WRC career, which started with the Rally of Finland in 1997.
• Consistent and competitive all season with 10 podiums, four wins, four second places and two third places.
• Has competed in over 100 world rallies and has partnered Mikko Hirvonen since 2002.
• Jarmo and Mikko have led the 2009 World Championship since winning in Poland in June and start the Rally of Great Britain leading the championship and fighting to become world champions.
• A highly professional and charismatic co-driver who is universally popular in the WRC community and was greatly respected and admired by Michael Park as someone who continually demonstrated the true spirit of rallying. Jarmo and Mikko were team-mates in the Ford team with Michael and Markko Märtin in 2003.
The trophy was presented to Jarmo at BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team's Happy Hour media reception tonight (Wednesday 21st October) in the service park in Cardiff by Paul Turner (Michael’s and Markko’s manager).
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