18 year old engineering student Oisin Hussey from Summerhill, Co. Meath won the Motorsport Ireland Rally Star National Digital Final held on Friday December 3rd in the Digital Motorsport suite in Mondello Park.The final, between 6 of Ireland's top rally simulator drivers feeds into the overall Rally Star programme which was devised by the FIA to enourage young people between 17 and 26 years old o create a bridge between digital and physical motorsport. Oisin joins Conor Shaw as the second person from Ireland to qualify for the European Continental Final. Conor qualified by virtue of setting a fastest overall global time in #RallyAtHome Challenge 14.
The Continental Finals will take place in early 2022 where candidates will be compete against the best from other countries at the wheel of an LifeLive TN5 Cross Car. One driver per continent will be selected to join the FIA Rally Star team. The drivers selected for the Continental Finals will benefit from a full season of training: driving coaching, physical and mental training, testing sessions and participation in six rallies at the wheel of a M-Sport Fiesta Rally3. At the end of the 2022 season, you may be one of the four drivers selected to compete in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. A season to learn, but also to convince, as three drivers will be selected for a second season in JWRC. This time, you will have to aim for the title to win the ultimate prize: a season in WRC2, with a car from the Rally2 category.
Speaking after his victory Oisin said: "Rally Star is a fantastic initiative and I've always had an intertest in sim racing and rallying in partiulcar. I figured I had nothing to lose by signing up and was delighted to qualify. It feels amaing to be representing Ireland, I actually can't believe it but I put the work in and I'm happy it paid off. Well done to all the other particpants too, it was a close battle."
Niall Maher of Digital Motorsports said; “Rally Star is something we truly believe and that is why we have parnered with the FIA on it. The FIA enourage 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 fpr all in motorsport. Today's final shows that there is serious talent in Irish digital motorsport and I'll be waching with interest as Oisin progresses in the programme.”
Art McCarrick, Motorsport Ireland Sport Executive said; "Rally Star provides a tremendous opportunity for aspiring rally talents, regardless of their background and I would have loved if a similar programme had existed when I was younger and trying to get involved in the sport. Irish motorsport talent is viewed in high regard across the globe and I'm sure Oisin and Conor will be extremely competitive in the continential finals. Digital Motorsports are a valued partner and we would simply not have been able to run a Rally Star National Digital Final without them."