The new talk of the town, the FIA Motorsport Games is fast approaching, taking place in just over a week’s time in and around Circuit Paul Ricard. With as many as 100 nations and 1000 drivers estimated to participate, what actually is the FIA Motorsport Games and why is it significant for feeder series drivers?
By George Brabner
The baby of the FIA and SRO Motorsports Group, the FIA Motorsport Games aims to unite drivers from all over the globe into one competition. Across the five-day event from 26–30 October, drivers will represent their home nations and fight it out for medals. Think of it like the Olympics, but for motorsport.
The inaugural event took place in 2019, but the 2020 and 2021 renditions were cancelled due to COVID-related restrictions. Back for 2022, the FIA Motorsport Games brings new drivers and new disciplines to the table and on an even bigger stage. In 2019, Italy played host to the games, with racing action taking place at the popular feeder series circuit Autodromo Vallelunga. This year, France is the host country and Marseille the host city, meaning that most racing will be taking place at Circuit Paul Ricard. There will even be an opening ceremony in Marseilles, such is the scale of the games.
The national sporting authorities from each invited country will pick a selection of drivers to represent them under each of the 16 disciplines. Countries will be going head to head in events ranging all the way from the GT Cup to grassroots junior karting, but if you ask us, the Formula 4 Cup has got to be the happy medium.
Propelling some of the most talented young drivers in the world onto a truly global stage, the Formula 4 Cup will use the KC-MG01 chassis, the same one used in the 2019 FIA Motorsport Games. To aim for a truly level playing field, identical setups and equipment will be enforced throughout the discipline’s action.
Over the course of the racing weekend, there will be two 45-minute practice sessions, a 25-minute qualifying session, a 20-minute qualifying race and finally a 30-minute race on Sunday in which the medals will be awarded. There will be plenty of time for drivers to become acclimatised to the track before Sunday’s race, allowing those with less experience of the car and track to get up to speed.
So which feeder series drivers are confirmed to be participating?
- Costa Toparis – Australia
- Lorens Lecertua – Belgium
- Pedro Clerot – Brazil
- María José Pérez de Arce – Chile
- Julius Dinesen – Denmark
- Sandro Tavartkiladze – Georgia
- Valentin Kluss – Germany
- Zénó Kovács – Hungary
- Andrea Kimi Antonelli – Italy
- Alister Yoong – Malaysia
- Valentino Mini – Panama
- Manuel Espirito Santo – Portugal
- Michael Shin – South Korea
- Bruno del Pino – Spain
- Dario Cabanelas – Switzerland
- Oleksandr Partyshev – Ukraine
- Jasper Thong – Hong Kong
- Ruhaan Alva – India
- Ethan Ho – Chinese Taipei
- Guilherme Rocha – Mozambique
- Ismail Akhmed – Uzbekistan
- Charlie Wurz – Austria
Announced this week, newly crowned ADAC Formula 4 champion and Mercedes Junior Team driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli was confirmed to be Italy’s entrant into the Formula 4 Cup category. Looking to claim another title this weekend in the Italian F4 finale at Mugello, Antonelli will have a lot of eyes on him at Circuit Paul Ricard the week after. Kluss, currently racing in Italian F4 and ADAC F4, as well as Pedro Clerot, who is leading Brazilian F4, are both expected to be fighting Antonelli at the top.
Up from six disciplines in 2019 to 16 this year, the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games is set to unite even more drivers from an even greater mixture of backgrounds than before. With equal opportunity for all, the event will be as much about inclusion and unification as it is about on-track action.
Header photo credit: SRO / Dirk Bogaerts Photography
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