Grand Finale looms for 2023 FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy

  • Emilien Allart holds the championship lead but three rivals could deny the crown
  • Spanish drivers relish home ground advantage
  • 2022 champion Miguel Gayoso prepares for pivotal role in European championship finale

The scene is set for the fifth and final round of this year’s FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy, one of the feature events of the FIA European Autocross Championship finale at Mollerussa in Spain this weekend (October 7-8).

The fast, smooth and dusty circuit 90 minutes from Barcelona is set to bake in temperatures of up to 32 degrees as the autumn sunshine lights up a four-way fight at the top of the FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy for drivers aged 13-16 years.

Heading the points table – as he has since the opening round of the season – is Belgian driver Emilien Allart, a sophomore racer in his second season of FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy racing. Having finished on the podium in every round so far, Allart has built an impressive 19-point advantage over his rivals – which means that they must maximise their score and hope that Allart blots his copybook at some point in the weekend.

Just five points separate the remaining contenders for the crown, with Belgians Jordan Genten and Lucas Cartelle heading the charge after their countryman. Nevertheless the three Belgians are wise to the fact that Mollerussa is the home circuit of the other young man in the title race, Diego González Martinez, and he will be desperate become the third Spaniard to lift the coveted champion’s trophy in the Academy’s three-year existence.

A 12-strong entry for the weekend’s racing means that none of the championship contenders can afford to lose focus. Another Spaniard, Diego Garcia, is gaining his first taste of the Academy on home soil – just as González Martinez did in 2022.

In addition to his Academy races, Garcia will be racing a similar LifeLive TN5 buggy to those in the Academy when competing in the junior class of the Spanish national cross car championship. With plenty of seat time and a home ground advantage, Garcia will be one to watch in every session.

Another driver eager to impress will be Amalka Zidkova, the only female racer in the FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy. Having come achingly close to the podium in both of her previous appearances, Zidkova will be fully focused on the job in hand. So too will Italian sophomore Matteo Bernini, who looked set to be a feature in the title battle, but after some bad luck in the midseason will be keen to close out the year on a high.

As ever, all the drivers will be supported by LifeLive and the FIA throughout the weekend. As the constructor of the 20 identical LifeLive TN5 buggies which are available to national ASNs for their most promising offroad drivers, LifeLive provides full technical support and mentoring to the drivers to help them maximise their chance to shine.

Last year’s FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy champion, Miguel Gayoso, is also on hand as part of the LifeLive setup, offering advice to the Academy drivers while he competes in the main FIA European Championship. This weekend, Gayoso has received an upgrade to the latest TN11 buggy as the team attempts to maximise the support he can offer to team leader David Méat in his bid for the championship crown.

The FIA Academy Trophy will get underway on Saturday with warm-up and practice sessions before the first competitive heat. Sunday will see two more heat races and a semi-final, after which the bottom two drivers will be eliminated from a place on the grid for the final.

A thrilling weekend’s action lies ahead.

FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy standings after Round 4 of 5


1            Emilien Allart                              BEL                     127 points

4            Jordan Genten                                          BEL                     108

3            Lucas Cartelle                             BEL                     105

4            Diego Gonzalez Martinez       ESP                     103

5            Matteo Bernini                           ITA                      96

6            Marius Debuisson                     BEL                     68

7            Tomas Pregliasco                       MCO                  65

8            Juan Manuel Grigera                ARG                    65

9            Alexander Karim Mancusi      ITA                      52

10         Bryan Neumeyer                        DEU                    41

11         Amalka Zidkova                          CZE                     37

12         Etan Pepujol                                FRA                     29

13         Marcus Martinelli                     ITA                      17