Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy - Wales Rally GB

Michael Park, who died in a tragic accident during Wales Rally GB in 2005, is much missed by the entire FIA World Rally Championship community.

Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy - Wales Rally GB
Listen to this article

The Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy is awarded annually in memory of Michael Park, who died in a tragic accident during Wales Rally GB in 2005 while co-driving for his long-term partner Markko Märtin.

Michael is much missed by the entire FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) community. To perpetuate his memory a group of friends and colleagues - inspired by Vincent Laverne - commissioned the trophy.

Michael Park
Michael Park

Photo by: Marlboro Peugeot Total

The bronze bust was created by French artist François Chevalier and was donated to Michael’s wife, Marie, and children, William and Victoria.

Each season a smaller replica trophy is awarded to a co-driver who has best demonstrated the qualities associated with Michael during his career, taking into account overall performances, attitude, commitment and other actions or achievements.

In 2006 the trophy was first presented to Daniel Elena from Monaco. Since then it has been awarded to Timo Rautiainen (Finland, 2007), Denis Giraudet (France, 2008), Jarmo Lehtinen (Finland, 2009), Phil Mills (Wales, 2010), Ilka Minor (Austria, 2011) and Stéphane Prévot (Belgium, 2012).

The recipient is decided by a jury of Michael’s close colleagues from the WRC community, comprising Paul Turner (Michael Park’s manager), Robert Reid, Vincent Laverne and Mark Wilford. This year there were two nominations from which to choose: Julien Ingrassia (France) and Nicolas Gilsoul (Belgium).

We are pleased to announce that for 2013 Nicolas Gilsoul has been chosen as the eighth winner of the Michael Park ‘Beef’ Trophy.

Gilsoul, 31, partners Thierry Neuville in the Qatar World Rally Team and has been influential in Neuville’s stellar season, which included a run of four consecutive second place finishes. The pair could secure the runners-up position in the FIA World Rally Championship at Wales Rally GB this weekend.

He began his co-driving career in 2000 in the Belgian Rally Championship before moving up to the European Rally Championship in 2004, when he guided Bruno Thiry to third. Gilsoul scored his maiden victory alongside his fellow countryman in the 2006 Rallye des Cardabelles Millau-Aveyron.

He made his FIA World Rally Championship debut in 2007 at Rallye Monte-Carlo and joined forces with rising star Thierry Neuville in 2011. The pair finished third in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, having won both the Tour de Corse and Rallye Sanremo.

They signed up for a full 13-round WRC programme with the Citroen Junior World Rally Team for 2012 before switching to the Qatar squad for 2013. Neuville and Gilsoul have just been announced as the lead pairing for the new Hyundai Motorsport team in 2014.

“Nicolas is relatively inexperienced compared to his colleagues in the major teams. Indeed Wales Rally GB will only be his 28th WRC start, but he has quickly established himself right at the top of the elite group of World Championship co-drivers,” said Turner.

“Like many in the co-driving profession, Nicolas goes about his business in a low profile but highly professional way. He and Thierry have worked hard during 2013 to improve their pace notes, sometimes refusing the chance for rest and refreshments during a mid-leg service to work on bettering their notes for the afternoon stages.

“We feel Michael would see many of his own traits in Nicolas and would support this decision for 2013.

“This year we had two standout candidates and I would also like to pay tribute to Julien Ingrassia. He has enjoyed a marvellous season alongside Sébastien Ogier in Volkswagen Motorsport’s all-conquering team and deciding between Nicolas and Julien was an extremely hard decision,” added Turner.

Nicolas was presented with the trophy in front of invited media and guests at Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team’s reception in the Wales Rally GB service park in Deeside this evening (13 November).

shares
comments
Ogier edges out Neuville in Wales Rally GB qualifying
Previous article

Ogier edges out Neuville in Wales Rally GB qualifying

Next article

Here we go: World Rally Champion Ogier tops qualifying in Wales

Here we go: World Rally Champion Ogier tops qualifying in Wales
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Prime

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
Jan 24, 2022
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Prime

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. We pick out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Prime

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021