MSA British Rally Elite scheme driver Kris Hall was unable to make it through to the European final of the Pirelli Star Driver competition despite delivering an impressive performance at the northern Europe shoot-out in Finland on Thursday.
The Pirelli Star Driver scheme was initiated by the tyre manufacturer in conjunction with the FIA to help young drivers who have found success at a national level make the huge step up to competing in the World Rally Championship.
Hall, who is one of British rallying's brightest young talents and the runner-up in last year's Fiesta Sport Trophy International Shootout, was selected by the MSA to represent the UK in the competition.
During the two-day contest the 20-year-old underwent tests of his fitness, media and presentation skills as well as a nerve-wracking interview with the judging panel, which comprised former World Rally champion Ari Vatanen, Petter Solberg World Rally team manager Ken Rees, current Pirelli Star driver Mark Tapper, WRC journalist Reiner Kuhn and Pirelli's motorsport manager Mario Isola.
The final element of the contest was an assessment of the candidates' driving skills over four runs of a 3.7km stage near to Rally Finland's famed Ruuhimäki stage, where drivers were tested on both gravel and asphalt whilst being watched by the judging panel.
"Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed not to have reached the European final but I really gave it my best shot," said Hall.
"The driving element was a big learning curve for me as I really had to take what I picked up from the first pass and adapt my driving to be faster on the second run.
"I wouldn't have done anything differently but going forward now I need to ask the judges for some feedback and improve on the areas where they scored me down," Hall summed-up.