BUILTH WELLS, Wales - Austria’s Ilka Minor has been chosen as the sixth winner of the Michael Park ‘Beef’ Trophy.
The 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 with Markko Märtin.
Ilka, 36, first drove in the World Rally Championship in 1997 and has been a regular competitor for the past eight years, first with Manfred Stohl and more recently with Henning Solberg in the M-Sport Stobart Ford team.
The trophy is a replica of a bronze bust created by French artist François Chevalier and donated to Michael’s wife, Marie, and children, William and Victoria.
The trophy is awarded each season to the 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 trophy was presented to Daniel Elena from Monaco. In 2007 it went to Finland’s Timo Rautiainen, in 2008 to Denis Giraudet of France, in 2009 to Jarmo Lehtinen from Finland and in 2010 to Phil Mills from Wales.
For 2011 the jury comprised Paul Turner (Michael Park’s manager), Robert Reid and Vincent Laverne. The short list of candidates comprised: Ilka Minor (Austria), Daniel Elena (Monaco), Julien Ingrassia (France), Kuldar Sikk (Estonia) and Miikka Anttila (Finland).
Ilka was presented with the trophy by Paul Turner in front of Ford and M-Sport media guests and friends at Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s Happy Hour reception in the Wales Rally GB service park at Builth Wells on Wednesday 9 November.