Press Release


The Pirelli Star Driver scheme has been launched for 2009, following its successful inaugural
year during which five talented young drivers from around the world won a drive in a series of
six of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship events.

The programme is designed to find rallying’s most talented and promising young drivers from
the FIA regional championships in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Each of
the regional series’ will host a Shoot-Out competition as a finale to the qualification process,
with the successful five drivers (one from Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and two
from Europe) being awarded a six-event FIA World Rally Championship programme for 2010.

How to become a Pirelli Star Driver?
Qualification for the scheme varies from region to region, but every driver registering has to be
aged 27 or younger on 1 January 2009. Registration for the Pirelli Star Driver scheme is free
and open to every driver who is a permanent resident of a country affiliated to the FIA. The
programme is only open to drivers who have not contested more than three World Rally
Championship events in the current or past season. Competitors can use any rally car which
qualifies for their FIA regional rally championship.

FIA European Rally Championship qualification
Qualification for one of the two Pirelli Star Driver cars available to the European region is
geographically split into two sections. Drivers from northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Norway,
Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ireland and the UK) will take part in a gravel
event tied to Neste Oil Rally Finland (July 28-August 02). The top five drivers, each being from
a different country, will be judged on a number of different criteria including, but not limited to
driving performance. They will go forward to the European Shoot-Out.

Drivers from the other European countries will be permitted to enter three qualifying events –
all being rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship. Those qualifying events are Rally
1000 Miglia (Italy), Croatia Delta Rally (Croatia) and Bulgaria Rally (Bulgaria).

Five drivers from each of those rallies will be awarded a place in the European Shoot-Out, but
only one driver is permitted in the Shoot-Out from any one country.

One competitor from each of the Nacam and Codasur zones in North and Central America will
also be invited to contest the European Shoot-Out.

The Shoot-Out final, for a maximum of 23 drivers, will take place on September 26/27 in
Freistadt, Austria.

FIA African Rally Championship qualification
Qualification for African drivers is geographically split, north and south. Competitors based in
the north will be able to qualify on the Rally of Tanzania and Safari Rally of Kenya, while those
in the south have the Zambia International Rally and Zimbabwe Challenge Rally as their
qualification events. The top two Pirelli Star Drivers from each of the events will be awarded a
place in the African Shoot-Out.

The Shoot-Out final will take place on the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally (17-19 September).

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship qualification
Qualification for Asia Pacific drivers is split between the Asia region and the Pacific region.
Drivers in the Asian area can qualify from Rally Hokkaido (Japan) and the Malaysian Rally. In
addition to those rallies, there will also be competitions held within Indonesia and China. Two
drivers will come from each of these events, totalling eight crews from Asia.

Drivers in the Pacific area can qualify from the Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie, Rally
Queensland (Australia) and Rally of Whangarei (New Zealand). Two drivers qualify from each
event, making an Asia Pacific Shoot-Out total of 14 drivers.

The Shoot-Out final will take place in association with Rally Australia (1-6 September).

FIA Middle-East Rally Championship qualification
Drivers who reside or have a competition license issued in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,
Qatar, UAE and Oman can qualify on the Kuwait International Rally. Drivers who reside or
have a competition license issued in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan or Palestine can qualify
on the Syrian International Rally and Rally of Lebanon. Two drivers from each event will go
forward to the Shoot-Out.

The Shoot-Out final will take place on the Dubai International Rally (3-5 December).

How to score
On qualifying events in Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, points will be allocated for
individual stage times, rather than taking the overall results. This ensures drivers who suffer a
problem on one stage are not punished unduly harshly. The winner of each stage will be
awarded five points, going down to one point for the fifth fastest time. The drivers who
accumulate the most points across all of the stages will gain a place in their respective Shoot-

In the European region separate classifications will initially be drawn up on each qualifying
event to recognise the different performance of 2WD and 4WD cars. After awarding points to
equalise that difference, an overall classification will identify the top five drivers from each

Playing the joker
Additionally, each region has the right to nominate one driver it feels has performed
exceptionally, but missed out on qualification. This driver will be fast-tracked into their
respective regional Shoot-Out.

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