The Motor Sports Association has named Kris Hall as the UK's candidate for the 2009 Pirelli International Star Driver shootout.
Hall will head to Jyvaskyla in Finland at the end of the month to compete on a gravel rally event tied to the Neste Oil Rally Finland. He will be up against the nominees from up to nine other governing bodies across northern Europe and will be judged on a number of different criteria including, but not limited to, driving performance.
Five drivers will then be selected to go forward to the Pirelli European Shoot-Out in Austria in September. There will be a maximum of 23 drivers from across Europe who will do battle for one of rallying's most valuable prizes – one of two fully-funded six-event campaigns in the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship.
“I'm absolutely delighted,” Hall said. “I am thankful to the judges for putting their faith in my ability to deliver; they have recognised that I have the potential and the pace to go out there and win the shoot-out. I am absolutely committed to making it to the WRC and I will give 110 per cent in order to achieve my ambition.
“I've learned so much from being in the MSA Rally Academy last year and graduating onto the Elite scheme this year. I am much better prepared for this challenge than I was before and have been working closely with the team on the physical, nutritional and psychological aspects of my performance.”
Hall was confirmed as the UK nomination by MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, following a recommendation by a specially-convened panel of experts from UK rallying, comprising Phil Mills, Guy Wilks, Mike Broad, Mark Taylor and Motorsport News'
deputy editor, James Attwood. The panel considered all members of the MSA's Rally Elite and Academy programmes who were registered for this year's British Rally Championship.
“The MSA Elite schemes were set up to prepare our best drivers for this kind of opportunity,” Reid said. “This is a great initiative by Pirelli and offers one of the best prizes in the sport. We will make sure that Kris gets all the help and support he needs in preparation for the first event, and I'm sure he will make a strong impact on the judges.”