There’s been plenty of gamers-to-actual-race-drivers program, for good reason. Sim racing games have a lot of transferable skills to real-life racing, and there are many success stories of folks playing video games transitioning to a successful professional race car driver career, like the past GT Academy program.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) are aware of this and are now teaming up with publisher Nacon and developer KT Racing to create FIA Rally Star. This is a new program that will be looking for the next generation of rally drivers to compete in the FIA Junior WRC from players of the upcoming WRC 9 game.
FIA Rally Star will be a multi-stage program open to anyone of 17 to 26 years of age. All they need to do is get WRC 9, and then later join the FIA Rally Star qualification phase. This will be in the form of a piece of DLC that will drop later in December 2020, post-launch on all platforms.
The winning seven finalists, including one female, will then be trained and coached by the FIA for a proper rally drive in the FIA Junior WRC category.
“As soon as we introduced the project to Nacon and KT Racing teams, they showed great enthusiasm and we couldn’t have hoped for better platform than WRC 9 to select the most promising candidates.” said Yves Matton, Rally Director at FIA. “The FIA World Rally Championship brings together fans from every continent. Many of them dream to get behind the wheel and our wish is to make our sport more accessible. Through FIA Rally Star and its digital version in WRC 9, living this passion is simpler than ever.”
“The idea that the future stars of rally will start their professional driving careers because of WRC 9 is a great pride for the entire team and one of the best rewards for all the work we have put in over the last few years,” said Roman Vincent, founder and CEO of KT Racing development studio.
WRC 9 will still continue to play host to the official eSports WRC Championship to find the fastest WRC 9 player. But now, a new path is opened for those that wanted to go flat out on the real rally course too.
WRC 9 will be released on September 3 for the PS4, PC (Epic Games Store) and Xbox One, and later on PS5, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch. The FIA Rally Star DLC will be released in December for all platforms.