30 Jan 08
The inaugural 'Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally' award was presented at the culmination of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship season-opener, Rallye Monte Carlo.
The recipient of the award was chosen to be the tyre manufacturer Pirelli, thanks to the incredible effort and achievement the company had made in creating a control tyre for the 2008 WRC and the support it has offered to the teams competing.
The Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally award has been created to recognise parties demonstrating the same values that the capital of the United Arab Emirates stands for; respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork. It also acknowledges a positive contribution to the WRC by any of the myriad of parties involved in the sport.
Pirelli was chosen as recipient of the award for Monte Carlo thanks to the positive reaction of the entire WRC community to the new tyres it has developed for the 2008 season. All four-wheel drive rally cars in the WRC must use the company?s control tyre and it has carried out extensive development and testing over the winter to ensure that the tyres provide an optimum combination of performance, longevity and reliability. In addition to developing the tyres, Pirelli supported the opening round of the series with 30 staff, providing a total of 4000 available tyres to the four-wheel drive runners, 1500 of which were used during the course of the event.
Commenting on the inaugural award, Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said; ?Pirelli was chosen as the recipient for the first Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award in Monte Carlo because of the outstanding job it has done in developing and supporting what is effectively a single tyre for the WRC. They have worked very closely with all the parties involved in the sport; organisers, teams and drivers to ensure that their tyres satisfy all the complex criteria required of them. They have also supported the WRC and motorsport in general for an incredibly long time, consistently demonstrating the values which Abu Dhabi stands for.?
Receiving the award on behalf of Pirelli in Monte Carlo was Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery. He said; ?I am delighted to see all the hard work we have carried out recognised in this way. I?m personally representing everyone in the team in receiving this award. From the new factory, purpose-built to support the WRC program to head office and the whole team, everyone has performed miracles to get here and this is a fitting recognition for the entire team.?