In October the Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO) will organize two selections of the EMSO Rally Star auto slalom challenge which is part of the FIA Rally Star global detection of talented rally drivers. Organised by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and the national motorsport authorities, this innovative initiative starts from Grassroots and Digital Motorsport to detect, train and support the future stars of the FIA World Rally Championship.

It is an ‘arrive and drive’ format event for UAE nationals and residents age between 18 and 26. The first event will take place at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday 1st October during the Emirates Motorsports Expo. The second auto slalom and UAE national final will follow on Friday 8th October at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Each selection is limited to 45 participants who can register on ae.fiarallystar.com or contact the EMSO motorsport department (rallystar@emso.ae) for more information.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, EMSO President and FIA Vice President for sport is playing an important role in the development of motorsport especially rallying in the region. The Emirati is a 14-time Middle East rally champion and role model to many young drivers and passionate to encourage young rally enthusiasts from the UAE to join the programme:

Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “The FIA Rally Star programme is very close to my heart. Through a fair, transparent, challenging and instructive selection process, the best young men and women from my part of the world will have the life-changing chance to compete against their peers both locally and internationally. I will follow the process closely and will of course, whenever possible attend the qualifying rounds in the UAE and beyond.”

The top three drivers from the first event and the top three from second – two male and one female from each selection – will compete in a national final, and the two winners will qualify for the continental (MENA) final.

The FIA Rally Star is multiple-year programme that consists of five stages. The first is a selection organized by the national motorsport authorities of each country. The top drivers then qualify for continental finals, organized by the FIA, at the beginning of 2022. The third stage is all about coaching, training and testing of the selected crews. By the end of this process, in 2022, only four drivers will be retained and they will proceed to Junior WRC in 2023 and 2024. The winner of the JWRC will compete, fully-funded, in the WRC2/3 season series. This will be the stepping stone to a professional rally career.

FIA Rally Star relies on positive and engaging values:

  • it is global, designed for 145 member ASNs of the FIA
  • innovative and inclusive with a special focus on the promotion of women in motorsport
  • it is inspiring and accessible to everyone as participants do not to fund themselves to become a professional drivers
  • it is future-facing, as part of the FIA’s strategy to develop rallying around the world.

Participation in the two events is free of charge. Registrations for Abu Dhabi and Dubai selection will be open until all 45 spots for each selection will be taken up.