Michael Park ‘Beef’ Trophy Awarded To Phil Mills

by Peter Allen

Former World Champion co-driver Phil Mills has been awarded the Michael Park 'Beef' Trophy for 2010. The Trophy is awarded each year in memory of Michael Park, who died in an accident during the 2005 Wales Rally GB while co-driving for Markko Martin.

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

The former recipients of the award are Daniel Elena (2006), Timo Rautiainen (2007), Dennis Giraudet (2008) and Jarmo Lehtinen (2009).

This year a panel consisting of Paul Turner (manager of Michael Park), Robert Reid (co-driver to Richard Burns) and Vincent Laverne had to choose between five nominated co-drivers: Phil Mills, Daniel Elena, Julien Ingrassia, Miikka Anttila and Alex Haro.

Welshman Mills won the WRC in 2003 as co-driver to Petter Solberg, a partnership that lasted 11 years, 152 WRC rallies and produced 13 WRC victories. Mills stepped down from co-driving in June 2010.

Phil was presented with the trophy in front of the spectator stands at Wales Rally GB at the start of the Super Special Stage in Cardiff Bay on Thursday (11 November) evening, by Paul Turner.

“Phil competed directly against Michael for many years and they always had a great respect for each other,” said Turner. “Although they were competitive on rallies, they were great mates away from the events, enjoying each other’s company, particularly at shooting events for which they both had a great passion.

“It is fitting that after such an illustrious career Phil should receive this trophy and recognition back in his home event in Wales. It was the scene of his greatest highs in the sport in 2002 and 2003 and his greatest low in 2005, when Michael died during that year’s event,” he added.

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