Aucklander Flynn Mullany and Taupo’s Faine Kahia are the first drivers confirmed to represent ‘Team New Zealand’ in the upcoming FIA Motorsport Games taking place in Rome, Italy on 1-3 November.
In June, the FIA unveiled a new international, multidisciplinary sporting event called the FIA Motorsport Games where sees drivers compete for their country, not individual recognition. The 2019 FIA Motorsport Games features six categories: GT, Touring Car, Formula 4, Drifting, Karting Slalom and Digital Motorsport. Each competition will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, contributing to an overall medal table.
In July, MotorSport New Zealand sent out information to licenced competitors seeking expressions of interest to represent New Zealand in one of the six disciplines.
Currently competing in the NZ Formula First Championship, 17-year-old Mullany will contest the F4 category which uses identical cars run by well-known motorsport team, KCMG. These F4 single-seaters feature an all-new hybrid-system similar to what is used in Formula 1 at present.
Kahia has experience in a range of race categories including Formula First and SsangYong Utes domestically and Asian Formula BMW and Formula 4 South East Asia. Now the talented 23-year-old has been confirmed to compete in the Touring Car category at the FIA Motorsport Games, which uses the worldwide TCR format. Kahia will be driving an Audi RS3 LMS run by experienced Belgium team, Cometoyou Racing.
“We are fortunate to have an abundance of talent in New Zealand so selecting the drivers wasn’t an easy choice,” says Wayne Christie, MotorSport NZ President. “Ultimately we see both these young men as up-and-coming stars and this offers them an opportunity to get a taste of international racing and competition on a level playing field.”
Mullany, a student at Western Springs College, is excited and ready for the challenge. “I am feeling very positive about this event and am very excited to be able to compete at such a level of racing that’s recognised worldwide. The chance to compete and get a good result at the FIA MotorSport Games gives me the chance to hopefully be recognised by teams higher up in the motorsports ladder.”
Kahia, who is currently working as a Parts Assistant at Giltrap Audi, echoes Mullany’s words. “I’m very much looking forward to driving the TCR car and to compete at Vallelunga in Rome. The track looks awesome, with some fast, flowing sections so it will be a real challenge but something that I am looking forward to. The whole event is going to be fantastic and great to be part of and it will let us showcase our skills on a world stage on level footing.”
Additional competitors may join ‘Team New Zealand’ with MotorSport NZ in ongoing discussions regarding possible entrants for other categories of the 2019 FIA Motorsport Games.