Motorsport’s governing body Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) are looking to further increase the global reach of their FIA Rally Star initiative through a partnership with Irish esports infrastructure company Digital Motorsports.
Finding the next great talent
According to the agreement, FIA will be supplying ESE Entertainment owned Digital Motorsports with marketing rights for their new-for-2021 global talent selection program. As part of FIA Rally Stars’ 2021 season, drivers aged between 17 and 26 have been selected from national finals as well as from 12 separate “Rally At Home” Challenges to move forwards to next season’s Continental Finals.
These challenges all feature the WRC 9 game being used on simulators, meaning the next FIA World Rally Championship will feature gamers alongside conventional motor sport competitors. Placed at the center of esports and sim racing, Digital Motorsports are well-positioned to help FIA marketing Rally Star around the world.
The future of motorsports
Speaking about the collaboration, FIA Rally Director Yves Matton commented that as FIA, they were well-content with the attention shown to FIA Rally Star. He added that at FIA, they all understood that the landscape is changing for the current and next generation of motorsport competitors and fans. They emphasize inclusivity as they search for the next generational talent, and in this regard they are looking forward to work with Digital Motorsports on FIA Rally Star. He stated that despite their great start, they know they are at the very beginning of FIA Rally Star’s journey; and the collaboration with Digital Motorsports from this point on will help them better understand what they can accomplish and how they can globalize an unrivalled talent recruitment programme.
“Digital Motorsports is very proud to be a part of the FIA vision for an all-inclusive, all-access program for detecting young talent. The FIA encourage pioneering development in digital and esports sectors, which are key to engagement with new generations and will play an increasingly significant role in achieving diversity and true accessibility for all in Motorsport. We are completely aligned in this vision by combining our world-leading technology with a genuine desire for inclusivity, to embrace diversity across all sections of society.”Niall Maher, CEO, Digital Motorsports
Following a string of major investments by racing brands, it appears that FIA are also doubling down on the growing popularity of esports racing.