Following the successful European Final in Germany last month, the scheduling of the Middle East and North African Final and the African Final has been completed with ASNs now evaluating their local talent in order to nominate their respective finalists via national assessments. These include Slalom and Digital Challenges or a combination of both.
Up first from March 18-20 is the Middle East and North African Final at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi using a purpose-built track within the Formula 1 grand prix venue. This will be followed by the African Final, which will take place at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, South Africa, from May 27-29.
The Finals will decide the next two drivers who will take part in the FIA Rally Star Training Season in 2023. They will join Estonian Romet Jurgensön, the European Final winner, plus the winners of the upcoming Asia-Pacific, North American and South American Finals.
A seventh FIA Rally Star Training Season participant will come from the winner of the Women’s Final, due to be held in North America later this year. The best-performing female in each Continental Final, including the African and MENA Finals, will take part in this event. Maja Hallén Fellenius (Sweden) and Katie Milner (United Kingdom) have qualified as joint top female performers in the European Final.
Jérôme Roussel, FIA Rally Star project leader, said: “FIA Rally Star has been created to allow all those who dream of becoming a professional driver to realise that dream. After a successful European final in Germany, we are delighted to be moving into new territories to offer opportunities to the many young rally enthusiasts in the Middle East and Africa.
“We are pleased to host the Middle East and North African Final at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, at one of the region's most iconic circuits. We would like to thank the EMSO for hosting us just a few days after the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
“We know that rallying is very popular in Africa and Motorsport South Africa has done a tremendous job of helping us to stage the Continental Final at the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria. It will be a half tarmac, half asphalt track, which be great to see how drivers evolve and adapt to both types of surfaces.
“We hope that several drivers taking part in this initiative will be able to rise through the ranks and have a career as rally drivers at international level.”