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Drivers from around the world will have the opportunity to become a future World Rally Champion, with an entry fee perhaps as low as 15 Euro. The FIA's planned 'Rally Star' competition will be open to drivers under the age of 25 (subject to confirmation), with entrants entering via a computer game, or a low speed motorkhana. British weekly, Motorsport News, has reported that the model for the competition will be based on France's Rallye Jeunes program, which saw the likes of Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier make their way through the ranks. It will be led by Jerome Roussel, one of the key people in the early days of Rallye Jeunes. The FIA is developing a Rally Star toolkit for distribution to national ASNs, Autosport says. "We have 140 ASNs, and 51 of them run international rallies," said Roussel. "What we're building is the toolkit which will show the local governing bodies how to run a Rallye Jeunes-style selection process. "It will instruct the ASN in how to set out the competition, how to run it if you have this much space or how to do it if you only have a limited area.
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The FIA's Rally Star winner is likely to get a full Junior WRC program.

"It explains how many marshals you need and how to run the timekeeping side of the event. "It's very simple and a very quick way to sample the first round of the potential drivers. "Like we said, it's vital to make a big sample and get as many young men and ladies in as possible - the bigger sample, the more chance we have of finding the really good one." As well as the motorkhana event, the digital entry aspect is aimed at setting the barrier of entry as low as possible. Discussions have already begun with computer game companies Codemasters and Big Ben, makers of DiRT and WRC 8. After an initial qualifying event, each country will select their finalists to one of six continental finals in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. Six drivers will be chosen from each of those finals plus one female driver, and those contestants will be given a year of testing and coaching, while contesting "six to eight regional and national rallies in Europe". The three best drivers picked from that group will them go forward to a two-year programme in the Junior World Rally Championship, and if one of the drivers wins the the title, they will be given a WRC 3 (for R5 cars) drive the following year. Initial funding for the scheme comes from the FIA fund for innovation, but the FIA is chasing further partnerships and investment to make Rally Star sustainable.

Drivers from around the world will have the chance to make it to the World Rally Championship.

Pirelli, the WRC's single-tyre supplier from next season, is likely to be involved in what is emerging as a modern day equivalent to the Pirelli Star Driver programme, a scheme which saw drivers such as Ott Tanak, Elfyn Evans and Hayden Paddon taking part. For drivers in the southern hemisphere, it should provide their best opportunity yet to make a name for themselves and make a push towards the WRC. Star drivers, such as Australian Rally Champion, Harry Bates, will no doubt be following Rally Star's developments closely over the coming months as final plans are made. "This is exciting, it's the first time the FIA has had a proper global talent programme," FIA rally director, Yves Matton, told Motorsport News. "We introduce this to the ASNs in June and then work towards the first intake as soon as possible."
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