Spain’s King Juan Carlos awarded FIA Academy prize
The President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Jean Todt, had the honour of awarding His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain the 2012 FIA Academy Gold Medal for Motor Sport at a ceremony held at Palacio de la Zarzuela, in Madrid, on May 4. Jean Todt was accompanied by Rosario Alessi, President of the FIA Academy.
The prestigious award was conferred to King Juan Carlos in recognition of his dedicated and boundless support of motor sport clubs in Spain as well as his enthusiastic involvement with a number of other sporting organisations in his country.
Spain has a long and distinguished history of motor racing and of F1 in particular: the two world titles of Fernando Alonso, the long career of Pedro de la Rosa, the important presence of two prestigious races in Barcelona and Valencia as well as the growth of the HRT race team, have established the country as one of the powerhouses of the sport.
In rallying, Carlos Sainz was twice World Champion, four times a runner-up and also won the Paris-Dakar, a dominating and talented presence in the sport for over 20 years. Dani Sordo is following in his footsteps, competing at the very top of the WRC championship.
In addition to this, Spanish motorcycle riders have distinguished themselves on the world’s circuits, with Spain hosting three of the iconic racetracks in Jerez, Barcelona and Valencia, and extra Spanish flavour is provided by Dorna, the international promoting organisation for the MotoGP series.
His Majesty the King is a frequent visitor at these four and two-wheel races, endorsing with his royal presence the development, quest for excellence and innovation which distinguishes all branches of motor sport.
The ceremony was held in presence of Miguel Cardenal, Secretary of State for Sport and Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish Olympic Committee. The representatives of the three FIA Spanish members were also present: Carmelo Sánz de Barros, President of the Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE), Carlos Gracia Fuertes, President of the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEDA) and Sebastiá Salvadó, President of the Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya (RACC).
Jean Todt said: “His Majesty has been a long-time supporter of motor racing both in Spain and on the international stage, gracing with his presence a number of prestigious sporting events, highlighting the considerable Spanish contribution to the popularity of motor sport worldwide.”
Note to Editors: The FIA Academy awards prizes in recognition of outstanding achievement in the fields of motor sport as well as mobility. Indeed the FIA is a federation of 232 automobile clubs worldwide, the governing body for motor sport, but also deeply involved in the vital campaign for road safety, supporting the United Nations Decade of Action aimed at reducing road fatalities by five million over ten years via its own campaign, the FIA Action for Road Safety.
Past winners of the FIA Academy prizes have been Sir Jack Brabham, Archibishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Stirling Moss, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Professor Sid Watkins.
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