Well-known tyre firm Pirelli has announced that it is putting its support behind the new-for-2013 Citroen DS3 R1 Pirelli Rally Academy.
Such a scheme already has the support of the CSAI – the governing body of the Italian motorsport – and aims to offer an up-and-coming Italian motorsport star with the opportunity of a lifetime.
This is because crews will be tested for their ability to handle the tricky turns and bends of five asphalt rounds in Italy, many of which count towards the prestigious Italian Rally Championship.
Young Italian drivers will begin to realise their dream on a stage of the iconic Mille Miglia in April, before taking part in the Rally della Lanterna, Rally of Fruili, Sanremo Rally and the well-known Targa Florio.
On top of this, the motorsport sensation who excels above all other competitors will receive the amazing prize of actually driving a Citroen DS3 R3 car in the 2014 Italian Rally Championship.
Commenting on why Pirelli is putting its backing behind the Citroen DS3 R1 Pirelli Rally Academy, the tyre firm's motorsport director, Paul Hembery, said: "Last year, we supported Stefano Albertini with a Peugeot 207 S2000 on the Italian Rally Championship: a series we have dominated in recent years.
"Now in collaboration with CSAI and Citroen Italia, we are delighted to offer another innovative way that offers young drivers access to top-level rallying at a reduced cost, and we are very grateful to both parties for helping to make this unique opportunity happen."
Anyone who would like to take part in the inaugural Citroen DS3 R1 Pirelli Rally Academy this year will need to part with €45,000 (£38,630) for the honour.
However, this fee grants young Italian drivers the opportunity to use a Citroen DS3 R1 which comes complete with a phenomenal four-cylinder 1.6 direction injection engine.
This motor is capable of providing the rally car with up to 125hp and maximum torque of 165Nm, 90 per cent of which is available at 2,000 rev/min.
The DS3 R1 is designed with a five-speed manual transmission system as well, with the arrangement aimed to optimise acceleration and shooting on a rally track.
Other eye-catching features of this sensational vehicle include the fact that both its front and rear axles include shock absorbers developed by Citroen Racing, while the car's braking system is free of ABS and ESP.
What's more, this entry price also includes the chance for competitors to make use of Pirelli tyres, insurance, media support, catering and both on and off-event support.
Mr Hembery added: "The Citroen DS3 R1 Pirelli Rally Academy is a huge boost for young drivers looking to make their way up in the sport.
"At Pirelli, we firmly believe in nourishing young talent, which is why we have always been keen to support initiatives such as the Pirelli Star Driver Scheme and the WRC Academy."
Drivers aged 25 years old or younger have the opportunity to register for their opportunity to enrol in the 2013 Citroen DS3 R1 Pirelli Rally Academy, though entries for the new series must be completed by February 25th.
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Posted by Danielle Barge