IRC stars honoured at Awards Ceremony
The stars of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge season assembled in Limassol, Cyprus, on Sunday evening (7 November) for the annual IRC Awards Ceremony.
Hosted jointly by Geraldine Filiol, Managing Director of IRC promoter Eurosport Events, and Antonis Michaelides, the Chairman of event organiser the Cyprus Automobile Association, the evening brought together the leading contenders from the IRC year, team representatives, partners and members of the media, to celebrate another hugely successful IRC season.
Speaking during the ceremony, Geraldine Filiol commented: "The fourth season of the IRC has been a very successful one. We are very proud of the way the IRC has evolved with new manufacturers, new events and ground-breaking live TV coverage that included a world premiere from Monte-Carlo with all stages covered live. We also produced live three other rallies in Sardinia, Scotland and Cyprus.”
"Although the IRC is still a young series it already has a very solid basis with strong values and lots of competitors. While moving forward next year, we will continue to maintain the fresh, dynamic and original spirit of the IRC.”
"On behalf of Eurosport Group I would like to thank all of those involved in the IRC: the event organisers, the manufacturers and teams, our tyre partners BFGoodrich, Pirelli and Yokohama, the drivers and co-drivers and the media which covered the IRC throughout the season. Finally I would like to extend a very special thank you to the Cyprus Automobile Association."
The following awards were presented by Marinos Sizopoulos, a Member of Parliament for Cyprus:
IRC drivers first: Juho Hanninen and Mikko Markkula (Skoda Motorsport)
IRC drivers second: Jan Kopecky and Petr Stary (Skoda Motorsport)
IRC drivers third: Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle (Peugeot UK)
The following awards were presented by Andreas Gavrielides, Mayor of Yermasoyia:
IRC manufacturers first: Skoda (accepted by Michal Hrabanek)
IRC manufacturers second: Peugeot (accepted by Laurent Guyot
IRC manufacturers third: M-Sport (accepted by Peter Martin)
The following awards were presented by George Xinaris, Managing Director of LumiereTV:
IRC 2WD Cup drivers first: Harry Hunt and Sebastian Marshall
IRC 2WD Cup manufacturers first: Peugeot (accepted by Laurent Guyot)
IRC 2WD Cup manufacturers second: M-Sport (accepted by Peter Martin)
Burcu Cetinkaya and co-driver Cicek Guney received special mention for becoming the first female crew to score points in the IRC following their seventh-place finish on RACMSA Rally of Scotland. The top-three trophies and the Category A, B and C awards for the inaugural Love Cyprus Golden Stage Rally, which took place on the island earlier in the day, were also presented.
The final award, the Colin McRae IRC Flat Our Trophy of the Year, was presented to the 2009 IRC champion Kris Meeke whose performances throughout the campaign best embodied the spirit and spectacular driving style of the rallying legend, according to the panel of judges consisting of Colin’s father Jimmy, IRC Motorsport Development Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Gilbert Roy, Eurosport Event’s Director of Editorial and Programme Development.
Jimmy McRae used the IRC Awards Ceremony to make a donation of 18,000 Euros on behalf of Colin McRae Vision, an official partner of the IRC, to ELPIDA, a charitable foundation for children with leukaemia and other cancers living in Cyprus. The money, which was topped up by donations from the Cyprus Automobile Association and Cyprus Rally sponsor FxPro, will be used to purchase electronic infusion pumps for the delivery of chemotherapy.
The 2011 IRC season gets underway with the first of 12 events, Rallye Monte-Carlo, from 18-22 January.