For Stage 1, each driver, including 14 females aged between 17 and 26, attended a briefing session before taking to a specially-devised layout on the Estering Rallycross circuit, south of Hamburg.
Drivers had one sighting lap, plus three timed runs over the 750-metre course in identical official Cross Cars run by LifeLive, the company founded by WRC driver Thierry Neuville. The cars are fitted with bespoke tyres from the FIA Rally Star programme partner Pirelli.
The European Final is supported by the FIA member clubs who staged 42 national selection events in 18 countries in 2021 in the lead-up to the event.
The top three drivers in each group after Stage 1 progress to tomorrow’s Stage 2 during which they undertake a single reconnaissance run followed by two timed runs of a 2.0-kilometre test.
Seven groups were completed in Stage 1 today with the remaining two groups completing their session tomorrow morning.
Jérôme Roussel, the FIA Rally Star Project Leader, said: “We had some very good drivers feature in the first day of competition. A number of them had been training hard ahead of the European Final and that definitely showed on track.
“The aim of Stage 1 was for competitors to finish one of the three fastest in their group to qualify for Stage 2 tomorrow. There is also the opportunity for drivers just outside the top three to reach the next stage via the Digital Challenge.”
Partners of the FIA Rally Star initiative, supported by the FIA Innovation Fund (FIF), are Pirelli, M-Sport, LifeLive, the FIA World Rally Championship Promoter, Thrustmaster, Nacon, Playseat, OMP and Digital Motorsports.
View Stage 1 results here.