Motorsport South Africa this week announced its participation in an exciting talent search programme, that could see some South African youngster launch a professional international rally driving career, basically free of charge.
The FIA Rally Star programme will be sponsored by the FIA, motorsport’s world-wide administrators, via their Sport Grant programme. It will start with participants taking on a series of Race at Home rallies on their home computers, with the WRC 9 game accessible on a variety of different platforms.
MSA will also organise Digital challenge days, using their Playseat simulators, the dates and venues for which will be communicated in due course. Similarly, MSA plans to hold five Slalom challenges with real cars. Two will take place in Gauteng, plus one in each of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. A fourth access channel, aimed specifically at development, will be based on rental karting.
From these four channels, MSA plans to select 32 finalists to participate in a national selection event, at which competitors will be selected to represent South Africa at the Continental Final. The African Continental Final is planned for December 2021. The programme offers one of the biggest prizes ever in local motorsport. The winner of the African Continental Final will enjoy participation in an on-going programme that could kick-start an international rally career.
This would include a training season in 2022 that includes participation in six European rallies, and could extend to participation in the 2023 and 2024 Junior World Rally Championship. Ultimately, the winner of the 2024 Junior WRC will win a fully funded WRC2 drive in the 2025 FIA World Rally Championship. The programme is open to all interested individuals who were at least 17 years old, but not older than 26, on 1 January 2021.
To participate in the Race at Home challenges, participants will need to have WRC 9 on any of the platforms for which it has been released, plus the specific FIA Rally Star downloadable content, that will be released shortly before the first digital challenge, which is scheduled to start on 13 February.
To find out more, visit www.fiarallystar.com. Further announcements and communications in regard to MSA’s participation in this programme will follow from time to time.