WRC bids farewell to Michelin tyre guru

WRC organisers, teams, and drivers came together to pay tribute to Jacques Morelli following his retirement from tyre-manufacturer Michelin after a 40-year career.

Before his retirement after last month’s YPF Rally Argentina, Morelli was the French company’s head of rallying and to mark his years of work in the service park, WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla presented him with a WRC trophy as a memento.

Joining Michelin as a storeman in 1978, Morelli moved into motorsport three years later, tasked with working on Michelin’s motorcycle racing programmes. He switched from two to four wheels in 2002 as the manager of the customer competition department in charge of circuit racing and rallying, before spearheading Michelin’s return to the WRC in 2011.

Morelli said: “After four decades at Michelin, I know life is going to be very different for me. I would simply like to wish my successor as much enjoyment as I have had in charge of this exciting programme.

“It goes without saying that I have far too memories of my career to be able to share them all.”

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla (left) presents the WRC Trophy to Jacques Morelli

All the WRC’s top drivers attended the presentation so they could give their own personal thanks to Morelli, with video tributes from other key members of the service park.

Taking his place in the service park will be Arnaud Rémy. Joining Michelin in 2001, he moved into the WRC service park in 2014. A familiar face to the teams and drivers, he will be in charge of Michelin’s WRC programme as well as the company’s other rallying efforts.

“I am thrilled and proud to have been entrusted with this exciting challenge,” Rémy said. “I am fortunate to be taking over from Jacques, who has put a great team and operation in place - this will be a tremendous asset as I find my marks in the WRC."

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Vodafone Rally de Portugal, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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