Daniel Elena, co-driver to three time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb, has been named as the first winner of the Michael Park 'Beef' Tophy, an award handed out to perpetuate the memory of the late co-driver.

Park lost his life on Wales Rally GB last season in a tragic accident that rocked the rallying world, with a number of individuals and teams within the WRC fraternity coming together to ensure that a trophy in his memory became a reality.

The trophy, a bronze bust created by the French artist Fran?ois Chevalier, will be awarded at the end of each WRC season to the co-driver who has best shown the overall qualities associated with Michael through his sports results, general attitude, or a specific action.

For 2006, the jury of four WRC personalities - Denis Giraudet, Michel Lizin, David Richards and Malcolm Wilson - had to choose from a list of six nominated co-drivers with Elena beating Carlos del Barrio, Jarmo Lehtinen, Phil Mills, Ilka Minor and Timo Rautianen to become the inaugural winner of the trophy.

Elena, who is the most successful co-driver in WRC with 28 victories and forfeited the rally win on the fateful Welsh event last season, will be given the Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy in a ceremony in the service park in Swansea at the conclusion of the opening leg of Wales Rally GB in the presence of Park's widow Marie and his two children William and Victoria.

 

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