Todt opens proceedings at the XVIII Congress of Americas for Mobility and Sport

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The 18th Congress of Americas for Mobility and Sport got underway today in Asuncion with representatives of 22 of the 30 member clubs from the North and South Americas present in the Paraguayan capital.
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Getting things underway was Jean Todt, the President of the International Automobile Club who began by thanking the hosts from the Touring y Automovil Club Paraguay and its President Hugo Mersan Galli, as well as José Abed, Carlos Garcia Remohi, Tim Shearmann and Jorge Tomasi - who as zone coordinator or presidents of NACAM, CODASUR, Regions 3 and 4, have contributed through their work to the enthusiasm of these two regions. Todt also acknowledged the presence of Nick Craw, President of the FIA Senate and Graham Stoker, FIA Deputy President for Sport. 

Todt then went on to outline the activities undertaken over the past year and to set out the agenda for the congress. “We have an ambitious agenda of activities ahead of us, including a discussion on the Vision 2030 strategy and the future development of the club business model; next steps in our global campaign for road safety, as we seek to meet the ambitious 2020 targets which have been set; planning for the UN Habitat III Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility which will take place in October.” – said the FIA President about the Mobility section agenda. Todt focused in particular on the theme of road safety, expressing his hearfelt appreciation of everything being done on this front: “I am proud of the impressive work carried out on the ground by the Clubs and region to support the global road safety agenda, and a key cornerstone of our activities remains the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme. Over the past five years, the Programme has supported 46 projects in Region III and Region IV, for a total amount of almost 1 million euro: all these initiatives have contributed to address road safety issues in your countries and to demonstrate the leading role that clubs can play in this area. Projects like the Safe Driving Campaign in Guatemala; the post-crash response initiative in Jamaica; the traffic training park in Colombia and the bike safety kit developed in Canada, are only some of the initiatives that have made a significant impact in improving road safety. These are all examples of how practical action by FIA clubs can have an impact. We need to continue to support this role.”

Todt also reminded everyone of what a busy twelve months it had been on the motor sport front in both the Americas: “First, allow me to congratulate you for the dynamism of your two regions. Motor sport is clearly thriving in America, and this is a real cause for satisfaction. The number of events entered on the FIA calendar for Regions III and IV alone is a testament to your fervour. Few geographical zones organise such a large number of events – 27 – representing so many disciplines: F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, RX, FE, etc. I am pleased to see all the main areas are very much active, from circuits and roads, rallies, single-seaters to touring cars, and endurance. I will forever remember the enthusiasm with which Mexico City welcomed the return of Formula 1 last year. And, following successful F1 and FE events, WEC will come to Mexico at the beginning of next month, for what I am sure will be an exciting stage of this championship. In order to host so many competitions, modern and safe infrastructure is needed. It is my understanding that 9 sports facilities will soon be added to the 15 circuits already homologated by the FIA. Another sign of motor sport’s excellent health on this continent.”

The congress, which ends on Wednesday 3 August, is also an opportunity for some joint initiatives with the exhibition of classic and historic cars that come under the auspices of TACPy, a karting slalom event for 10 or more year old children, an apposite event given Todt’s opening remarks about the importance of karting in attracting very young participants to motor sport and also the first edition of the Award for Education and Road Safety: 16 youngsters will take part along with 13 companies, that takes place tomorrow at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Paraguay.