05 Mar 09
In between those rallies, there will be further driver development and training programmes as well as promotional activities undertaken for both the FIA and Pirelli.The Pirelli Star Driver World Rally Championship events are:
Rally de Portugal (2-5 April)
Rally d'Italia-Sardegna (21-24 May)
Acropolis Rally of Greece (11-14 June)
Rally Finland (30 July - 2 August)
Rally de Espana (1-4 October)
Wales Rally GB (22-25 October)
Jarkko Nikara (23, Finland)
FIA European Pirelli Star Driver, Jarkko started competing in 2004. Finnish Junior Champion in 2006, he was runner-up in the Finnish Group N Championship a year later.
Martin Semerad (18, Czech Republic)
FIA European Pirelli Star Driver, Martin started competing in 2007. Martin won a round of the Czech Junior Cup in 2007 and two rounds the following year, when he was runner-up in the series.
Mark Tapper (28, New Zealand)
FIA Asia Pacific Pirelli Star Driver, Mark started competing in 2001. New Zealand two-wheel-drive champion in 2007, Mark won five from six rallies to take the title.
Nicos Thomas (21, Cyprus)
FIA Middle East Pirelli Star Driver, Nicos started competing in 2006. He contested the Cyprus Rally Championship the following year and won the Cyprus Rally in 2008.
Jon Williams (26, South Africa)
FIA African Pirelli Star Driver, Jon started competing in 2003. Jon collected his first outright rally win in the second season of his rally career, he has topped the podium four times since.
The five drivers will be handed the keys to identical Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs for the six rallies. This Group N car is a state-of-the-art turbocharged, four-wheel-drive rally car. It is the evolution of the machine used to win last season's FIA Production Car World Rally Championship. The cars will be built and maintained by Ralliart Italia - with each car arriving at the start of every rally indistinguishable from the four other Pirelli-liveried Lancers.