Affordable Cross Car project launched for grassroots competition

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The Affordable Cross Car project designed to spearhead the FIA’s mission to double motorsport participation worldwide has been revealed in Bologna, Italy, as part of the ASN Forum of this year’s FIA Annual General Assembly.

The project will be undertaken by a newly created, independent entity, called The Global Motorsport Development Company (GMDC). According to the FIA, the purpose of this entity is to provide services to ASNs and enable them to develop motorsport activities and disciplines within specific projects.

The Cross Car project aims to significantly reduce the cost of entry by providing a full suite of standardized technical drawings for use by ASNs to build low-cost, easily maintained cars for entry level and grassroots competition. The ability to build cars in local markets will eradicate the excessive cost of importing cars from overseas.

The designs encompass all aspects of vehicle construction, including schematics for a full chassis, suspension, wheel hubs, fuel tank container as well as a component list that includes a safety package. Crucially the project will also provide drawing for the design of tooling to build the cars. Engines are intended to be defined and locally sourced by ASNs.

Launching the GMDC and the new project at the ASN Forum of the 2022 FIA Annual General Assembly week, FIA deputy VP for sport Robert Reid said, “In order to reach the goal of doubling motorsport participation there is a clear need to focus on affordable, accessible motorsport solutions and the Affordable Cross Car project run by GMDC is just that.”

First launched in 2018, the Cross Car category currently features senior and junior categories that will now form the top two levels of a new pyramid of competition within the discipline. The Affordable Cross Car project creates two new classes below the top tiers. At level 1, the entry level for young drivers, the project has a target price of just US$5,000 for 12bhp cars aimed at 6-11 year olds. At the second intermediate level, which is aimed at incentive drives and beginner competitions, power is increased to 40bhp with the projected cost in the region of US$10,000. Finally, at the existing Junior and Senior levels, where power rises to 75bhp and 130bhp respectively, the approximate cost is between US$20,000-US$27,000. These levels are very much competition-oriented with drivers compete in series such as the European Cross Car Championship.

GMDC will soon launch two requests for proposals to select companies to produce the technical drawings for Level 1 and Level 2 Cross Cars with distribution of drawings and assembly guidelines targeted for June 2023.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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