Michael Park - Co-Driver Profile

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Michael Park Career Summary

Having grown up in England’s rural Herefordshire, a part of the country where the twisty country lanes were frequently used by small overnight rallies, it seemed natural that Michael Park would gain an appetite for rallying. After joining his local motor club, ‘Beef’, as he is affectionately known, learned his trade as a navigator on those roads. After three years spent gaining experience on local road and special stage rallies with a variety of drivers, Park joined forces with Steve Bennett to tackle Britain’s Peugeot Challenge series in 1990. They finished second and mounted another determined challenge the following year, but again had to settle for the runners-up spot – beaten only by an improving young driver called Richard Burns!

The duo tackled several European rallies in 1992 and Park also co-drove for David Williams in a Ford Sierra Cosworth on Britain’s national championship. The organisational skills required of a top-flight co-driver were also being developed as a service co-ordinator for Williams’ Genesis Sport team and Peugeot Talbot Sport on the 1992 RAC Rally.

In 1993, Park linked up with David Higgins and the pair won the Peugeot Challenge, only to be excluded at the end of the season for a technical irregularity. But their pace was rewarded with a works drive in a Peugeot 106 on the 1994 British Championship and they made the most of the opportunity by securing a class win.

Park worked in the gravel note crew for Subaru driver Richard Burns on several rounds of the 1994 Asia Pacific Championship and on three rounds of the 1995 world championship. In competition he and Higgins joined Ford and drove a works-prepared Escort RS2000 in the British Championship, taking sixth place on the Scottish Rally.

Park maintained his gravel note relationship with Burns when he moved to Mitsubishi in 1996. The pressures of rallying had become too much to hold down a full-time job and in 1997 Park left his job as a metal fabricator to forge a full-time career in the sport, continuing his gravel note duties for Burns until the end of 1998. His big break as a co-driver came in 1999 when he partnered Abdullah Bakhashab in a Toyota Corolla WRC. They tackled eight rounds of the world championship in the FIA Teams Cup, ending the season in fourth.

But for 2000 Park joined up with Markko Märtin for a comprehensive world championship programme in a Corolla, the highlight of which was sixth place on the Cyprus Rally. The duo switched to Subaru for a limited world championship programme in 2001 in an Impreza WRC but, disappointed at not receiving a full programme, they moved to Ford for the 2002 campaign.

Park guided Märtin through a remarkably consistent year in a Focus RS World Rally Car. The pair finished 12 of the 13 rounds they started and scored points on eight of the last nine rounds, including a career-best second on the final round of the championship in Great Britain.

A keen all-round sportsman, Park is a keen football and cricket fan and enjoys shooting.

Beef Park died 18th September 2005 of the injuries sustained in a crash during SS15 of Wales Rally GB. It was the fastest Rally GB of all time due to its date change to a dry season. An unusual and sad occurance, as his driver Markko Märtin was reknown for being a reliable driver not prone to accidents at all. In 2002 at Ford Märtin/Park finished 12 of the 13 rallies they started. In Rally GB 2005 it was the 12th event of the season and until that point Märtin/Park were the only team to finish all events of that season!

Michael Park Career Statistics


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Career Results :

Pos Event Driver # Vehicle Rego
4th. 2005 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2005 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2005 WRC Rally Mexico M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2005 WRC Rally New Zealand M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2005 WRC Rally Sardinia Italy M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2005 WRC Cyprus Rally M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2005 WRC Rally of Turkey M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
8th. 2005 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2005 WRC Rally Argentina M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2005 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2005 WRC Rallye Deutschland M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2004 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2004 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 2004 WRC Rally Mexico M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2004 WRC Rally New Zealand M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2004 WRC Cyprus Rally M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
24th. 2004 WRC Rally of Turkey M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2004 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2004 WRC Rallye Deutschland M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2004 WRC Rally Japan M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2004 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 2004 WRC Tour de Corse M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
1st. 2004 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2003 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2003 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 02 [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2003 WRC Rally of Turkey M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 02 [UNKNOWN]
1st. 2003 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2003 WRC Rallye Deutschland M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN]
1st. 2003 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2003 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2003 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
12th. 2002 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 02 [UNKNOWN]
8th. 2002 WRC Tour de Corse M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
21st. 2002 WRC Tour de Corse M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
8th. 2002 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
8th. 2002 WRC Cyprus Rally M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2002 WRC Rally Argentina M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 02 [EK51 HXZ]
6th. 2002 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2002 WRC Safari Rally M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2002 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2002 WRC Rallye Deutschland M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2002 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2002 WRC Rally Australia (WA) M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2002 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
12th. 2001 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2001 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2001 WRC Tour de Corse M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2000 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #18 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2000 WRC Rallye de Portugal M. Märtin #25 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
10th. 2000 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Märtin #23 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
10th. 2000 WRC Rally of Finland M. Märtin #20 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2000 WRC Cyprus Rally M. Märtin #17 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2000 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #21 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
13th. 1999 WRC Rallye Catalunya A. Bakhashab #28 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
8th. 1999 WRC Acropolis Rally A. Bakhashab #21 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]
19th. 1999 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Bakhashab #31 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN]

Career Retirements :

Pos Event Driver # Vehicle Rego Reason
Ret. 2005 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #8 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 2004 WRC Rally Australia (WA) M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS1 engine
Ret. 2004 WRC Rally Sardinia Italy M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 04 [ET53 UNY] SS16 turbo
Ret. 2004 WRC Rally Argentina M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS5 crash
Ret. 2004 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #7 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS3 crash
Ret. 2003 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS3 engine
Ret. 2003 WRC Tour de Corse M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 2003 WRC Rally Australia (WA) M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN] SS20 disqualified - stoned
Ret. 2003 WRC Cyprus Rally M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 2003 WRC Rally Argentina M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN] SS21 engine
Ret. 2003 WRC Rally New Zealand M. Märtin #4 Ford Focus (Mk1) RS 03 [UNKNOWN] SS14 engine
Ret. 2002 WRC Rally New Zealand M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS14 crash
Ret. 2002 WRC Swedish Rally M. Märtin #6 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS0 before start TC!! crash in shakedown
Ret. 2001 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 2001 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS14 crash
Ret. 2001 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS7 suspension
Ret. 2001 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS16 electrics
Ret. 2001 WRC Rallye de Portugal M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 2001 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Märtin #6 Subaru Impreza (44S)  [UNKNOWN] SS0 engine
Ret. 2000 WRC Rally Australia (WA) M. Märtin #18 Subaru Impreza (22B)  [UNKNOWN] SS2 transmission
Ret. 2000 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Märtin #30 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 2000 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Märtin #17 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS3 sump
Ret. 1999 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. Bakhashab #33 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS13 crash
Ret. 1999 WRC China Rally A. Bakhashab #12 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS10 suspension
Ret. 1999 WRC Tour de Corse A. Bakhashab #19 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS3 crash
Ret. 1999 WRC Rallye de Portugal A. Bakhashab #24 Toyota Corolla (E100)  [UNKNOWN] SS1 crash
Ret. 1999 WRC Swedish Rally A. Bakhashab #65 Toyota Celica (T200)  [UNKNOWN] SS6 suspension
Ret. 1994 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Higgins #91 Peugeot 106  [UNKNOWN] SS10 engine

Information may not be complete and should be used as a guide only.

For a listing of driver profiles see the Co-Driver Index page.