Talented young drivers from all over Europe revving up for the final selection

Everything's set for the Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out between promising European and American Rally drivers who will battle it out in Austria on 18th and 19th September

Milan, 16 September 2009 – At the starting blocks for the decisive date in the European selection of the Pirelli Star Driver, the programme organized by Pirelli, in collaboration with the FIA, to promote new Rally drivers. On 18 and 19 September near Freistadt, in Austria, in fact, the European shoot-out of the Pirelli Star Driver 2010 programme will be held, leading to the selection of the young drivers who will have the opportunity next year to take part in six Rally World Championship races.  During the season, 14 drivers were selected for the two-day event in Freistadt, where they will undergo driving tests on asphalt and gravel roads, personal presentation and physical fitness. They will be assessed by a qualified jury of rally world experts, made up of Paul Hembery (Pirelli Motorsport Director), Timo Joukhi (manager and talent scout), Joao Passos (organizer), Anthony Peacock (rally journalist), Petter Solberg and Markku Alen. After a tough selection, only two drivers will be proclaimed winners. Together with the New Zealander Hayden Paddon, winner of the selection of the Asia-Pacific area, and the winners of the Africa and Middle East area, who have not been chosen yet, the two Freistadt champions will make up the group of five young Pirelli Star Drivers who will get their chance in the spotlight during the 2010 World Championship. The drivers chosen for the Freistadt finals are: Valentin Porcisteanu (Romania), 26, Vytautas Svedas (Lithuania), 26, Alex Raschi, (San Marino), 22, Jan Cerny (Czech Rep.), 19, Victor Henriksson (Sweden), 21, Andrea Torlasco (Italy), 25, Marko Jeram (Slovenia), 26, Anders Kjaer (Norway), 23, Brian Lavio (Switzerland), 25, Maris Neiksans (Latvia), 26, Ott Tanak (Estonia), 21, Todor Slavov (Bulgaria), 25, Timo van der Marel (Netherlands), 20, Daniel Wollinger (Austria), 22, Juan Manuel Marchetto (Argentina), 24 and Josè Andres Montalto (Costa Rica), 19.