The fight for the FIA Presidency

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
This won't concern the majority of the Race-Dezert forumeers, but may have an affect for all those interested in the FIA racing series, whatever they are.

These are a series of press releases with regards to Ari Vatenen (the other candidate being Jean Todt) visiting the Arab world to garner support for his election plan:


Jordan motorsport chairman joins FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen’s election team

Amman, Jordan: HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, the pioneering leader of sport in Jordan, has accepted an invitation from FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen to join his election campaign as his proposed Vice President Sport (Middle East).

HRH Prince Feisal, Chairman of Jordan Motorsport, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) and Chairman and Founder of Generations For Peace, has become a major influential figure in motoring after steering his country’s successful bid to become the first Arab country in the modern era to host a round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

And now the Prince, widely regarded as a unifying figurehead in the region when it comes to sport in general, has been invited by the 1981 World Rally Driving Champion to join his proposed powerful revolution should the Finn be elected to replace the retiring President, Max Mosley, on October 23.

“It was an honour to be asked and I have been hugely impressed by the manifesto that Ari has submitted to make sweeping changes to the way that motoring is run globally,” said HRH Prince Feisal. “He is a man with integrity and experience and would make an outstanding President for an exciting and challenging era for the motoring world, particularly in increasing the Arab World’s and West Asia’s participation and representation on the FIA.

“With 50 per cent of our region under the age of 16, it is important that the FIA plays a more engaging role in the future of our youth.

“As President of the JOC and founder of Generations For Peace, I believe in the power of sport when it comes to social development and we have to be more responsible in the education of our drivers and pedestrians to cut down on the needless deaths and injuries that happen every day of the year.

“We must also build a sustainable future through good governance and transparency by forging a closer relationship between Arab countries to improve mobility and, also, between Arab countries and others across the world.”

HRH Prince Feisal is also eager to see proper bidding structures and processes introduced for countries wishing to join major championships like Formula One and the WRC which he believes will further raise the bar in terms of their quality and organisation.

Vatanen has chosen his vice presidents ahead of his head-to-head election battle with Frenchman, Jean Todt, for the most powerful job in motoring. His manifesto addresses six key areas of motoring from road safety to expanding the support of developing clubs worldwide and highlights that his campaign and Presidency would run on the hallmarks of values, honesty and transparency.

HRH Prince Feisal is the brother of His Majesty King Abdullah II and has been the driving force behind sport in Jordan for a decade. In 2005, he announced that Jordan would bid to join the WRC and his vision became a reality in 2008 when the global roadshow visited the Kingdom for an event that received widespread acclaim. It returns for a second time from April 1-3, 2010. Its Middle East rally will be held from October 29-31.

Motoring has become synonymous with the Hashemite family. His Late Majesty King Hussein, HRH Prince Feisal’s father, introduced motorsport to the Kingdom in the 1950’s and was a keen competitor up until the 1990’s. His Majesty King Abdullah II was also a champion driver while HRH Prince Feisal made a name for himself as a capable co-driver before switching to the organizational side of the sport.

As well as transforming the Kingdom’s motor sporting scene, HRH Prince Feisal has also become a widely respected member of the Olympic community since becoming President of the JOC in 2002.

He has campaigned tirelessly for gender equality in sport which was recognised when he was invited to join the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Women and Sport Commission. This led to Jordan hosting the IOC’s Women and Sport World Conference in 2008 – an event which was hailed as an overwhelming success by the sporting world.

He is also the founder and chairman of Generations For Peace, which runs dedicated peace programmes to empower, train and support leaders of youth from communities in conflict around the world to use the power of sport to unite children and youth from all sides of their divides to contribute towards a sustainable peace. In just two years, the global initiative has reached 34,000 youth and children and trained 3,000 leaders of youth in 28 countries divided by war and conflict.

HRH Prince Feisal has been quick to recognise the power that sport has to promote countries to a worldwide audience and has succeeded in attracting five world championships of various sports to Jordan over the past five years – including the WRC.

He will now support Vatanen to promote the Finn’s bid amongst Arab Automobile Clubs. The October 23 vote will be held by the world’s national motorsport and touring clubs.

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
Second release:


“Most Arab clubs have signaled their support for Vatanen and Prince Feisal”: Saudi Arabia

Amman, Jordan: FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen has hailed HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein’s inspired leadership and vision as the key factor to gaining widespread support for his campaign from Motoring Clubs across the Arab World.

Former World Rally Driving Champion Vatanen has invited the Jordan Motorsport Chairman to become his Vice President Sport (Middle East) for the October 23 elections, and has spoken of his well-known admiration for the Hashemite Family and the importance of the Arab World after arriving in Jordan ahead of the Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference tomorrow (Thursday).

“This is a crucial time for the future of motoring across the world and there is no figurehead better qualified to steer the Middle East into an exciting new era than HRH Prince Feisal,” said Vatanen. “His Royal Highness has a long and rich association with motoring and is a man of enormous integrity whose expertise and leadership extends well beyond the realms of the motoring world. I have the utmost respect for Prince Feisal and it is a privilege to be working together to bring change for the better for everyone associated with motoring.

“The Arab World has a huge role to play within the future of the FIA and it is vitally important that it is represented properly with a strong voice. What better voice to represent this region than that of HRH Prince Feisal who will be a unifying figure for all Arab clubs, no matter their size, stature or tradition?”

Representatives from 30 countries arriving in Amman, for what has been described as a conference ‘crucial to future of motoring’, have added more praise for HRH Prince Feisal who has transformed motor sporting standards within Jordan and succeeded in welcoming the World Rally Championship (WRC) to the Arab World for the first time in the modern era in 2008.

Mishaal Al Sudairy, Chairman of the Saudi Arabia Motor Federation, claims the Prince’s appointment has changed the demographics of the Presidential campaign regionally which is being fought between Vatanen and Jean Todt.

“HRH Prince Feisal’s support of Ari is a decisive factor to a majority of the Arab clubs supporting his candidature at the election,” he said. “Ari is campaigning on a clear message for change within the FIA and HRH Prince Feisal has a track record of delivering on his promises. You only have to see what he has achieved within his own country to understand that HRH Prince Feisal is the person to lead the Arab Motoring World in the future.”

Khaled Qadura, President of the Palestine Motor Sport Federation, echoed many delegates’ sentiments by adding: “We offer full support to His Royal Highness. He has been a strong friend to the Palestinian motoring community for many years and we look forward to tomorrow’s conference with great optimism to see how we can all work together for the benefit of motoring in our part of the world.”

The popular Vatanen was mobbed by autograph hunters, fans and well-wishers as he arrived in Amman and spent time listening to leaders of motoring clubs from across the region and beyond. The Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference will be attended by representatives of motoring clubs from three continents and will discuss the future for mobility, touring and sport.

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
What is interesting is that the Arab world brought more votes in that anyone else to save Max Mosely's @ss when his antics in the basement with a number of ladies were splashed on the newspapers.

The following press release shows how loyalties can be split in a second!:


Questions raised at Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference over October 23 vote

Amman, Jordan: Motoring clubs attending the Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference have called for an independent body to monitor the FIA Presidential election on October 23.

The call was made after the conference host, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, Chairman of Jordan Motorsport, shared with delegates a letter from retiring FIA President, Max Mosley, declining an invitation to visit due to the presence of FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen. Mosley is an ardent supporter for Vatanen’s rival candidate Jean Todt.

Described as a ‘letter of fear’ by Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart, it warned that ‘any thought that, after the election, everyone can unite and work together can now be forgotten’. There were also concerns raised by delegates that the FIA President claims to know as a ‘simple fact’ that Vatanen will lose the election to Frenchman Todt.
“It is therefore pertinent for me to express my grave concerns following the correspondence that I received from the FIA President, Max Mosley, this week,” HRH Prince Feisal told representatives from 25 countries.
“Jordan has always maintained a strong relationship with our President, so I am deeply disappointed by the content and the insinuations of his letter which have raised serious questions as to the credibility of the upcoming elections, especially as Max is strongly supporting the campaign of one of the candidates, Jean Todt.”

“Voting should be done with your hearts and your conscience, and not out of fear and intimidation. Now is the time to become one harmonious governing body, not to face a future of division and uncertainty due to decisions made during a democratic process.
“In the interests of democracy, transparency and integrity, we must be sure that this election is held in a fair and open environment through a secret ballot and under close third party supervision.”
Sir Jackie, invited to attend the conference due to his long-standing friendship with the Hashemite Family, stated his concern that the independence of the elections was now under threat.

“This is a letter of fear that clearly warns there will be ramifications on those voting against Todt, should he win,” he said. “This brings the fairness of these elections into question and, under these circumstances, an independent, reputable and well known organisation should be brought in to supervise.”

The need was further heightened by claims from the President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of Uganda, Jack Wavamunno, that “inappropriate” tactics had been used by close supporters of Todt in an attempt to persuade him to drop his support for Vatanen.

“The way in which I was pressurised was inappropriate,” he told the conference. “I support Ari because I truly believe he is the best candidate for Uganda and Africa but I was very saddened with the way that his opposition tried to convince me otherwise through threats and by other means.”

The clubs agreed that a letter would be sent to the FIA requesting that ‘to ensure a fair and a clean democratic process a well-respected monitoring body must be appointed to observe the October 23 elections’.

The conference also provided a milestone in the efforts to unite the Arab clubs with other regions, when it was unanimously agreed to create sub-committees among the delegates to strategically plan actions and campaigns to address the many issues confronting the world of motoring. These will include sub-committees to tackle burning issues like the environment and road safety.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of the Arab clubs agreed three further points:

- The letter to HRH Prince Feisal from the FIA President was inappropriate in both its content and timing
- The next FIA President should encourage inclusiveness and fair representation for all member clubs and ensure there is no prejudice against clubs that did not vote for him
- Clubs throughout the region should unite to encourage sustainable development for the future benefit of motoring

The Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference has welcomed representatives of clubs from Africa, Asia and Europe and HRH Prince Feisal, who has accepted an invitation from Vatanen to run as his Vice President Sport (Middle East), expressed that it should become an annual event with more clubs invited to attend in the future.


Mini Metal MOD
Thanks for posting this info. I tend to favor Vatanen over Todt, but either one would be an huge improvement over Mosley.

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
This one was produced three days before the one posted prior to this. It shows conflicting reports.

Sulayem backs Todt as next FIA president

28 September 2009

ATCUE President says former Ferrari team boss is the man to lead motor sport to bright future

DUBAI: Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced today that the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) will be backing Jean Todt’s bid to become the next President of the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body.
ATCUAE President Sulayem, who is the Vice President of the FIA for Sport, believes former Ferrari team boss Todt is the man to guide Formula One and international motor sport as a whole safely past the lingering economic crisis and away from the upheavals and controversies of recent years.

He has already given a personal pledge of support to Frenchman Todt and will speak to former world rally champion Ari Vatanen, the other FIA Presidential candidate, to explain his decision prior to next month’s elections.

“I have known Ari for many years and have enormous respect for him and for everything he has achieved as a rally driver, and as a member of the European Parliament,” said Sulayem.

“But I believe that Jean Todt’s credentials make him the logical choice to take up the FIA Presidency at a time when Formula One racing, and motor sport as a whole, is facing major challenges which demand strong leadership and unity, while not forgetting the importance of the role and responsibility of General Mobility which takes in Road Safety, Environmental and the Touring aspects of motoring and road transport.

Added Sulayem: “At the same time, I am convinced that he fully recognises the importance of the Middle East to motor sport, and will ensure that this region is strongly represented at the top level.”

Sulayem stated that the other clubs of the Arab world are almost unanimous in their support for Todt.

“They have all sent him letters of support as they all share the view of the ATCUAE that he is the right candidate to lead the FIA through these challenging times,” he said.

“He understands the problems that motor sport is facing and has a clear strategy to tackle them, including making the necessary changes to the structure of the FIA and giving the regions a chance to play a bigger part in its development.”

Todt has been involved in motor sport since 1966. A former world championship winning rally co-driver, he went on to become a highly successful Director of Racing Activities for Automobiles Peugeot and later for PSA Peugeot-Citroen Group, before launching his career with Ferrari as General Manager of its Racing Division in 1993.

In 2001 he became General Manager of all Sporting Activities of the Ferrari-Maserati Group and in 2006 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari SpA. During Todt’s time with Ferrari the team scored 98 Grand Prix victories and won 13 world titles.

From 1975 to 1981, Todt acted as representative of rally drivers to the FIA’s rally commission and from 1981 to 1993 he represented the constructors. From 1993 to 2009, he acted as the Ferrari SpA representative to the FIA World Council. In his final year with Ferrari, Todt worked as special advisor to the Ferrari Board chairman before retiring from the company in March this year. He has since continued his work in many capacities with the FIA and FIA Foundation, mainly concentrating on global road safety issues and campaigns.


Well-Known Member
I don't pay attention to the Politics but I do know that Mosely is a crook

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
I don't normally, but as I know a lot of people involved, I'm watching from the sidelines with an amused grin on my face.... ;-)

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009


• SAMF meets in Riyadh to discuss forthcoming FIA vote
• Saudi officials look ahead to exciting motor sport future

RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has confirmed its full backing for His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Al-Hussein and FIA presidential candidate Ari Vatanen in the crucial FIA Presidential election that will take place in Paris on Friday, October 23rd.

Officials at the SAMF met in Riyadh on Monday evening to discuss elements of the recent Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference in detail and unanimously decided to support Vatanen’s bid for the presidency and to support his Vice-President Sport (Middle East) elect, HRH Prince Feisal Al-Hussein, Chairman of Jordan Motorsport.

Al-Sudairy was present at the Amman meeting, which was called by HRH Prince Feisal in a bid to lobby support for Vatanen in the Middle East region. The Finn will go head-to-head with Frenchman Jean Todt to replace Max Mosley as the head of the FIA, world motor sport’s governing body. Last month’s Amman conference was attended by representatives from 25 countries.

“We looked long and hard at all the proposals and studied what was on offer from both sides,” said Mishaal Al-Sudairy, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation. “We reached the decision that the policies to be followed by Ari Vatanen and HRH Prince Feisal fitted better with the future plans of the ambitious Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and we will support Ari Vatanen in the election. We are looking forward to working behind the new president in a unified FIA.

“After meeting with Ari Vatanen, we realised that the rumour that he was going to give more voting power to larger clubs was totally unfounded. Only the General Assembly can change the detail of the voting system. Ari has built up a strong support team and we feel that the members of that group better suit the requirements of the sport’s governing body and the best interests of motor sport across the globe.”

Al-Sudairy presides over the organising committee for the Ha’il Saudi Baja (a round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja Cup) and a new round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in the Eastern Province. He is also an integral force behind bringing circuit racing and other motor sporting disciplines to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – one of the newest hubs for world motor sport.

Al-Sudairy has also called upon the FIA to carry out a fair and secret ballot on election day. “It is imperative that individuals are not pressured into voting for a particular side and the election is carried out in a fair and democratic way,” added Al-Sudairy. “I am also satisfied with Ari’s and HRH Prince Feisal’s vision for motor sport and mobility in the Middle East region.”

Vatanen is a former FIA World Rally Champion. He won 10 WRC rallies and is a four-time winner of the gruelling Dakar Rally. After a memorable career in world motor sport spanning three decades, the Finn moved into politics and is a former member of the European Parliament.

His rival candidate is Frenchman Jean Todt, the former head of the Ferrari F1 team and Vatanen’s team manager at Peugeot Talbot Sport in the 1980s.


Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
Sulayem in Paris to vote for Todt as FIA President

20 October 2009

Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) President Mohammed Ben Sulayem left for Paris yesterday to cast his vote in favour of Jean Todt for President of the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) in elections that will be held on October 23.

Having worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to drum up support for Todt ahead of the ballot, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region, Sulayem, who is also seeking re-election as Vice President of the FIA for Sport, reiterated his earlier stance that he believes Todt’s credentials make him the logical choice to step into outgoing President Max Mosley’s shoes.

“He (Todt) understands the problems that motor sport is facing and has a clear strategy to tackle them, including making the necessary changes to the structure of the FIA and giving the regions a chance to play a bigger part in its development,” Sulayem said, adding: “And I am convinced that he also fully recognises the importance of the Middle East to motor sport, and will ensure that this region is strongly represented at the top level.”

Sulayem agreed with his Bahraini counterpart, BMF President Sheikh Abdulla Bin Isa Al Khalifa who while also endorsing Todt’s candidature had said his priority when identifying a preferred candidate was to ensure that he had a clear vision for the sustainable development of motorsport, including at grassroots level, a deep understanding of the global policy agenda for motor users and manufacturers alike, as well as a defined programme for advancing the structures of the FIA and firm commitment to reflecting the role that individual regions had to play in the FIA’s development.

Apart from demonstrating these values, Todt and his team brings along with them a wealth of experience needed to guide the FIA in trying times, Sulayem said while reiterating: “I have known Ari for many years and have enormous respect for him and for everything he has achieved as a rally driver, and as a member of the European Parliament, but Todt’s credentials make him the logical choice to take up the FIA Presidency.”

Full members who have paid their annual dues are eligible to vote at the FIA General Assembly.

Each of the 132 countries where the FIA is represented receives a maximum two votes, one mobility and one sport (a small number of countries have only either sport or mobility competence and therefore receive one vote).

In countries where there is one club covering mobility and sport, that club will have two votes.

In countries where there is more than one club representing mobility, the vote is decided by a majority decision between those clubs.

Apart from the FIA President and his team, elections will also be held for the World Council for Automobile, Mobility, and Tourism (WCAMT) and the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC).

Each World Council is composed of 26 members.

For the WCAMT, the FIA President and FIA Deputy President for Automobile, Mobility, and Tourism are members by right, the additional 24 members are nominated by the FIA’s Mobility Regions. Region I is entitled to 11 members, Region II six members, Region III four members, and Region IV three members.

For the WMSC, the FIA President, the FIA Deputy President for Sport, the President of the International Karting Commission, the President of the Promotional Entity for the Formula One Championship and the President of the FIA Manufacturers' Commission are members by right, the additional 21 members are elected from a list of nominations received from FIA National Sporting Authorities.

The election for President is conducted by secret ballot with votes counted by the FIA’s legal department overseen by nominated observers from the FIA’s General Assembly.

The winner of the election is the candidate with either an absolute majority in a first round of voting or a simple majority from the top two lists which would be put through to a second round.

There are only two candidates for post of President – Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen.

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
20th October 2009


Influential JOC President and Jordan Motorsport Chairman delivers strong message ahead of crucial FIA elections

London, England: In a crucial week for the future of motoring, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) and Chairman of Jordan Motorsport, has delivered a clear message at a key sporting conference that sport can help to unify the world’s divided communities.

Speaking as a panel guest at the Global Sports Industry Congress in London ahead of flying to Paris for Friday’s FIA Presidential elections, HRH Prince Feisal said that sport can “unite people from across the divides”.

HRH Prince Feisal is running as a Vice President Sport (Middle East) in support of Ari Vatanen’s Presidential bid and has been vocal in calling for unity and fair representation across the motoring world.

Underlining his growing credibility across the sporting spectrum, he made his second high-profile appearance this month following a well-received speech delivered at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress in Copenhagen to reiterate his vision and belief of the more important role that sport should play.

“In many parts of the world, communities are divided within themselves and from each other,” he said. “In good times and bad, sport is the glue which binds communities together. Sport provides a sense of identity and of social cohesion.

“As founder and Chairman of the global initiative Generations for Peace, I believe passionately in the power of sport to unite people, to create a common sense of purpose values. To create community where none existed previously and to recreate community when old values have been under threat.

“Our objective at Generations For Peace is to harness the power of sport in some of the world’s most disadvantaged and divided communities. We aim to empower youth from conflicted communities and use the power of sport to unite children and youth from across divides.

“In that way we can play a role in achieving sustainable peace and social cohesion and to enhance the lives of today's youngsters and those of future generations. And we do so by enabling members of those communities to learn a range of teaching, coaching and technical skills which will allow them to teach others the lessons of leadership, respect and tolerance, empowerment, teamwork and responsibility.”

The Global Sports Industry Congress brings together sports administrators, executives, investors, contractors, suppliers and other key market players for a broad discussion on the ‘business of sport’. Among those joining HRH Prince Feisal on the inspiring guest list are Sir Craig Reedie, Member, IOC; Member of the Board, London 2012 Organising Committee; Peter Kenyon, CEO, Chelsea Football Club, and Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro which was last week confirmed as the host city for the 2016 Olympics.

HRH Prince Feisal will travel on to Paris in support of former World Rally Champion Vatanen, who is running against Jean Todt in Friday’s ballot to elect the most powerful position in motoring.


Mini Metal MOD
Jean Todt is elected as the new FIA president. As much as I would have liked Vatanen, Good riddence to Max.

Voting in the General Assembly was made by secret ballot. The votes were counted in private by the FIA legal department, under the supervision of scrutineers proposed by the two presidential candidates and designated by the General Assembly.

The entire voting procedure was supervised by an external Huissier de Justice (French state-appointed public witness).

The FIA membership voted as follows:

For Jean Todt: 135
For Ari Vatanen: 49
Abstentions/invalid votes: 12

The following were also elected as part of Mr Todt’s candidacy list:

President of the Senate
Nick Craw, President, Automobile Competition Committee for the US (USA)

Deputy President Automobile Mobility & Tourism
Brian Gibbons, Chief Executive, New Zealand Automobile Association (New Zealand)

Deputy President Sport
Graham Stoker, Council Chairman, Motor Sports Association (UK)

Senate Members
Hernan Gallegos Banderas, President, Automovil Club del Ecuador (Ecuador)
HH Tunku Mudzaffar bin Tunku Mustapha, Chairman, Automobile Association of Malaysia (Malaysia)
S.H. Rudolf Graf von der Schulenburg, President, Automobilclub von Deutschland (Germany)
Carlos Slim Domit, Patron, Asociación Mexicana Automovilistica (Mexico)
Jainchang Yan, Deputy President, Federation of Automobile Sports of China (China)

Mobility Vice Presidents
Carlos Barbosa, President, Automovel Club de Portugal (Portugal)
Victor Dumot, President, Touring and Automobile Club of Paraguay (Paraguay)
Ignacio Gonzalez Fausto, President, Asociación Mexicana Automovilistica (Mexico)
Gus Lagman, President, Automobile Association Philippines (Philippines)
Franco Lucchesi, Delegate to the FIA, Automobile Club d’Italia (Italy)
Jorge Rosales, President, Automobile Club of Argentina (Argentina)
Danijel Starman, President, Avto-moto zveza Slovenije (Slovenia)

Sport Vice Presidents
José Abed, President, Organizacion Mexicana del Deporte Automovilistico Internacional (Mexico)
Michel Boeri, President, Automobile Club de Monaco (Monaco)
Morrie Chandler, Honorary President, MotorSport New Zealand (New Zealand)
Enrico Gelpi, President, Automobile Club d'Italia (Italy)
Carlos Gracia, President, Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (Spain)
Mohamed ben Sulayem, President, Automobile and Touring Club for United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Surinder Thatthi, Automobile Association of Tanzania (Tanzania)