Three intense days await Aussie FIA Rally Star program representatives

The 2022 FIA Rally Star Asia-Pacific Final gets underway this week with six Australians taking part in the special competition.

Held in India, the three-day intense competition will see 41 males and six females from nine countries completing a number of driving tests in identical Cross Cars – all of which will be critiqued by a number of judges.

In addition to putting their driving abilities to the test, the five-person panel will also look at the participants’ fitness levels, interview techniques and general aptitude.

The eventual winner of the Asia-Pacific Final will then join a number of other regional winners from around the globe at the 2023 FIA Rally Star Training Season where they will compete in six international rallies in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3 and receive physical and intellectual assessments, driver coaching and testing.

Representing Australia at the event are a number of RSEA Motorsport Australia Rally Championship drivers including Taylor Gill, Ryan Williams, Aidan Peterson Molly Spalding, as well as Jaidyn Gluskie and Ethan Kilbride.

Motorsport Australia President Andrew Fraser wished all six Aussies the best of luck for the competition.

“Motorsport Australia is proud of our own next generation of rally stars who will be representing our country on the international stage, ready to take their next step in their promising rally careers,” Fraser said.

“We’re looking forward to following the progress of the nine Australian drivers at the Asia Pacific Final, and I know all of them will be eager to impress while competing under the Australian flag.

“Good luck to all competitors in the FIA Rally Star program – a terrific initiative from the FIA that has also been a feature at our own Motorsport Australia Rally Championship events this year.”

The first day of the Asia-Pacific Final will see participants behind the wheel of the Pirelli-equipped TN5 Cross Car provided by FIA World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville’s LifeLive organisation where they will get a reconnaissance run and two-timed training runs of the 900-metre stage.

Just 24 drivers will qualify for Tuesday’s second stage, which will be almost two kilometres long and will see the participants split into six groups of four.

Following a first run of the stage, the order will be reversed for a second round of runs with the times of both the first and second runs will determine the classification of the stage – the top two from each group will then qualify to the final stage.

Tuesday’s action will also include a Digital Challenge, where participants who missed out on stage three will get another chance to qualify through a successful run on Nacon’s popular WRC 9 game.

The final day of the program will see all the successful drivers to have made it through to stage three tackle a three kilometres course, complete their physical assessments and undergo an interview, with the winner to be announced at the conclusion of the day.

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The FIA Rally Star Asia-Pacific Final takes place at the Madras International Circuit in Chennai, India on 10-12 October.