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Thu 06 Jan 2022

European hotshots prepare for Rally Star final

The hunt to discover a future world champion takes another step this month when 82 youngsters continue their battle to bag a dream drive in the FIA World Rally Championship.

The young talent from 17 countries will contest the FIA Rally Star European Final at the Estering rallycross track, near Hamburg in northern Germany, on 28 - 30 January.

It’s the first of six continental finals this year and the winner will grab a place as the European representative in the Rally Star training season in 2023.

That includes six rallies in M-Sport’s four-wheel drive Ford Fiesta Rally3 as well as physical and mental assessment, driver coaching and testing.

At the end of 2023, the best four fledgling drivers will earn a season in the following year’s FIA Junior WRC Championship.

Three drivers will go forward into a second Junior WRC campaign in 2025 and if one wins the title, they will secure a WRC2 drive in a Rally2 car in 2026.

Results of the six continental finals will decide six training places. The seventh will come from an all-female shootout contested by the best-performing woman from each of the six finals.

Initially the European finalists will have a single recce of a 750-metre stage followed by two timed runs. The best will go forward to a similar format on the second day over a 2km stage. The final day for the top 10 drivers features a 3km test.

The outright winner will be based on stage times, plus other their performance in other areas, such as media interviews, during the event.

All drivers will use a TN5 Cross Car, off-road motorsport’s equivalent to a kart, from Thierry Neuville’s LifeLive organisation.

Drivers not progressing from the first two stages can register for a digital challenge to try to progress.

There are 67 men and 15 women in the final, who qualified from national selection events or online challenges on WRC 9, the official game of the FIA World Rally Championship.

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