Motorsport UK has today (Tuesday 16 March) announced its involvement in the FIA Rally Star programme, an initiative to find the next generation of World Rally Champions.
FIA Rally Star is a worldwide detection programme that will take the best undiscovered talent from around the globe from rallying at home to the FIA World Rally Championship – with the ultimate prize of a seat in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. Within the programme the governing body for motorsport in the UK is excited to embark on its search for the next top rally driver from across the home nations.
The UK has a long association with rallying and has been the proving ground for many of the country's top rally drivers, including Colin McRae, Richard Burns and more recently Elfyn Evans, Kris Meeke and 2019 FIA European Rally Champion Chris Ingram.
The Motorsport UK FIA Rally Star detection programme is open to any UK resident aged between 17 and 26 and will begin on Saturday 27 March.
The first national round will be held digitally, as competitors battle it out using the WRC9 game available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. The UK Digital Challenge will focus on three of the global online #RallyAtHome events in March and April – with the fastest British drivers across the four events going forward to the UK Final.
#RallyAtHome – 27/3/21 – 1/4/21
#RallyAtHome – 10/4/21 – 15/4/21
#RallyAtHome – 24/4/21 – 29/4/21
#RallyAtHome – 8/5/21 – 13/5/21
25 places will be up for grabs from the virtual events, with a further five places being awarded to wildcard entries selected by partners of the competition.
The final 30 drivers will then be invited to Motorsport UK’s new home in Bicester on Friday 4 June for the UK final of the FIA Rally Star competition. The day-long event will comprise an Autosolo Slalom Challenge, with entrants putting their driving skills to the test in one of Motorsport UK’s grassroots disciplines, as well as aptitude and fitness sessions and media interview assessments.
The driver who impresses the judges in every element of the UK final will represent their country in the European continental final in June.
Motorsport UK CEO, Hugh Chambers, commented: “We are delighted to be involved in the FIA Rally Star initiative, as we search for our next rally world champion. Rallying is a huge part of the UK’s motorsport heritage and this competition is another great opportunity for us to attract the next generation of ‘rally stars’ into our sport via an accessible and affordable format that allows us to connect with a younger demographic. The Digital Challenge element of the competition will enable drivers from around the country to take part in the four rounds from their own home, thereby casting a much wider net to detect new emerging talent. I look forward to following the online events with great interest and to welcoming the finalists to our new home in Bicester for the UK final.”