The World Rally Championship will include a brand new feeder series from 2011, called the WRC Academy.
The Academy will be a one make series, with all drivers competing in identical Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by M-Sport, the organisation behind the Ford World Rally Team. It will allow young drivers to compete in equal machinery, with Italian firm Pirelli supplying control tyres.
The series will run on six rounds of the WRC, allowing drivers to gain experience and exposure from competing alongside the championship's main contenders. The WRC Academy will be run as a partnership between motorsport's governing body, the FIA and WRC promoter, North One Sport.
The series aims to be accessible and affordable. The basic cost of participating is set at £118,000 per season, with drivers having to provide travel and accommodation, a car to participate in recce and the costs of repairing damage.
In addition to competing on the WRC stages, drivers will take part in a comprehensive training and tuition programme. The winner of the WRC Academy will rewarded with a scholarship worth â‚¬500,000.
Further details will be released over the coming weeks. Interested drivers can register their interest at www.wrc.com/wrcacademy from Tuesday 26 October.