The venue for the FIA Rally Star American and Women’s Finals has been confirmed as the excitement continues to build ahead of the inaugural FIA Rally Star Training Season.
From April 30-May 2, the Polideportivo Motor Maldonado off-road motorsport complex in Maldonado, Uruguay, will host the FIA Rally Star American Final ahead of the FIA Rally Star Women’s Final taking place on May 3. South Africa’s Kristie Ellis, from Gqerbha, earned her place in the Women’s final by winning the African final which was hosted by Motorsport South Africa at Zwartkops last year. She will be aiming to take part in the 2023 training season alongside Cape Town’s Max Smart who won the male category at the African final.
The FIA Rally Star American and Women’s Finals had been due to take place at the Ronex Park in Lima, Peru, in February but were postponed due to the social unrest in the country.
Following the postponement, the process of securing a replacement venue and a local organising team of volunteer officials in conjunction with the national ASN began with the Polideportivo Motor Maldonado in Uruguay chosen as the preferred location.
Jérôme Roussel, FIA Rally Star Project Leader said: “We are very pleased to confirm the Polideportivo Motor Maldonado as the setting of the FIA Rally Star American and Women’s Finals and we thank the Automovil Club del Uruguay for its assistance in securing the new venue and in the ongoing planning of the event. We also thank other ASNs in the region who expressed interest in hosting the FIA Rally Star American and Women’s Finals. We now hope as many ASNs from North and South America will be able to complete their selection programmes as soon as possible in order to finalise their representatives for the FIA Rally Star American Final.”
Jorge Tomasi, Automovil Club del Uruguay President said: “It is an honour for our country to be chosen to host the FIA Rally Star American and Women’s Finals. The FIA Rally Star is a highly innovative initiative that demonstrates FIA and ACU’s commitment to the development of motor sport in Uruguay. We have had a great experience during the development of the selection programme in our country and we are expecting a great final.”
The winners of the eagerly anticipated FIA Rally Star American Final and Women’s Final will secure their places in the FIA Rally Star Training Season. The best-performing female in the FIA Rally Star American Final will qualify for the FIA Rally Star Women’s Final when she will go up against the qualifiers from the other FIA Rally Star Continental Finals. The eventual winner will secure the final place in the FIA Rally Star Training Season.
So far five drivers have qualified for the FIA Rally Star Women’s Final. They are Maja Hallén Fellenius (Sweden) and Katie Milner (United Kingdom), the top performing female drivers in the FIA Rally Star European Final, Farah Zakaria (Jordan), who qualified via the FIA Rally Star Middle East and North Africa Final, Kristie Ellis (South African), who came through from the FIA Rally Star African Final and Pragathi Gowda (India), the best female participant in the FIA Rally Star Asia-Pacific Final.
Meanwhile, the following drivers have qualified for the FIA Rally Star Training Season by winning their Continental Final: Romet Jürgenson, the European Final winner from Estonia, Abdullah Al Tawqi, who won the MENA Final representing Oman, Max Smart from South Africa, the winner of the African Final and Australia’s Taylor Gill, who won the Asia-Pacific Final.
The FIA Rally Star Training Season begins with an initial evaluation and assessment camp attended by all participants in late May. The FIA Rally Star Training Season intake will then contest six rallies in a Ford Fiesta Rally3 run by M-Sport Poland. The rallies will be similar in characteristic to those events that would typically form part of the FIA Junior WRC schedule. A full schedule will be announced in due course.
At the completion of the FIA Rally Star Training season, the best four drivers will win an FIA Junior WRC Championship campaign in 2024, the first step on the ladder to the top-level, hybrid-based Rally1 category.
More information on FIARallyStar.com
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