M-Sport is pleased to announce its selection as the official rally car partner of FIA Rally Star – the largest talent detection programme in the history of rallying. The Cumbrian firm's involvement will be spearheaded by M-Sport Poland who have a unique insight when it comes to developing young drivers.
FIA Rally Star is a truly global driver detection and training programme launched by the FIA with the main aim of uncovering rallying’s most promising future stars. Spotted by ASNs, the best young drivers between 17 and 25 will be selected and subjected to an intense preparation year ahead of entering the 2023 FIA Junior WRC Championship. During this preparation year, the selected drivers will take part in a rigorous training schedule incorporating a variety activities such as physical training and entering national rallies to build experience ahead of a campaign in FIA Junior WRC. The programme is roadmapped to include a fully funded season in the FIA WRC 3 Championship if a selected driver wins the FIA Junior WRC Championship.
The road ahead for any young driver in the world of rallying is tough and even more so on FIA World Rally Championship events which feature some of the most demanding special stages in the world. M-Sport prides itself on having a longstanding history playing its part to support young drivers in rallying from local rallies right the way up to success on the world stage. It is evidenced by M-Sport’s commitment to its ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ while becoming the first, and currently only, rally car manufacturer to offer a car at every level of the FIA’s ‘Rally Car Pyramid’.
As rally car partner to FIA Rally Star, M-Sport feels it is perfectly positioned to take any driver with potential and develop them into a world-class athlete. It is through M-Sport’s ‘Ladder Of Opportunity’ that drivers of any background will be able to learn what it takes to tackle real life rally stages: from learning basic principles in the entry-level Fiesta Rally5, right the way to the WRC-level Rally1 tier.
M-Sport’s experience and resources are unrivalled when it comes to developing young talent. Every single driver that has won a WRC event in the past two years has at one point found themselves behind the wheel of an M-Sport car. In addition to this, M-Sport is more than accustomed to working with young drivers thanks to its involvement with various young driver programmes. Combining its FIA Junior WRC and Fiesta Sport Trophy activities, M-Sport has over a decade of international talent development experience which aligns perfectly with the trajectory of FIA Rally Star.
Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport Managing Director:
“Developing young drivers with a clear and concise route from grass-root to top-level rallying has always been at the core of our business, and the FIA Rally Star is perfectly aligned with that goal. We pride ourselves on supporting young drivers and are constantly looking for new and innovative ways of finding the sport’s future stars. There’s never been anything quite like the Rally Star programme, in its scale and ambition, and I’m looking forward to working with the FIA as we search for the next generation of FIA World Rally Champions.”
Maciej Woda, M-Sport Poland Director:
“We have been very interested in the FIA Rally Star programme for quite a while now. It is a fantastic initiative that the FIA should be very proud of andreally resonates with M-Sport’s fundamental values. Our ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ mirrors the FIA Rally Car Pyramid now and we are the only manufacturer to have a car available on every tier. The preparation year that selected FIA Rally Star drivers will embark upon will need to be accessible. We could have a driver that has never set foot in a rally car before. We are perfectly placed for this, our range starts with the entry-level Fiesta Rally5 which is great for somebody learning the basics of rallying and finishes with the WRC-level Fiesta Rally1.”