FIA Sport Regional Congress MENA draws to a close in Marrakesh | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

FIA Sport Regional Congress MENA draws to a close in Marrakesh

10.05.18.

More than 70 participants representing 16 ASNs attend the fourth edition of the Congress, held in the “Red City” 

The FIA and representatives from its national sporting authorities (ASNs) in the Middle East and North Africa assembled in Marrakesh, Morocco, this week (8-10 May) for the fourth edition of the FIA Sport Regional Congress MENA, under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The Congress was hosted for the first time by the Fédération Royale Marocaine des Sports Automobiles (FRMSA), under the umbrella of the FIA. Leading the Congress, FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, President of the Fédération Royale Marocaine des Sports Automobiles Youssef Zahidi, and Vice-President of FIA Sport for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“The fourth edition of the FIA Sport Regional Congress for the Middle East and North Africa in Morocco has been a great success,” said President Todt.

“I would like to thank Youssef Zahidi, President of the FRMSA, for kindly hosting this Congress and extending such warm hospitality to the ASN delegations.”

The Congress examined new initiatives for ensuring the continued development of grass roots motor sport in Middle Eastern and North African countries, and celebrated the successes of the many headline events ensuring its significant presence on the world motor sport stage.

Todt continued: “Most of the main motor sport categories are present in the MENA region, with 14 events on the FIA International Calendar: Formula 1 Grands Prix in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi; rallies in Jordan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Iran, Kuwait and Qatar; events counting towards the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Morocco; and of course two fantastic events held here in Marrakesh, the WTCR World Touring Car Cup and the Formula E Marrakesh ePrix.”

“The dedication and commitment that has brought us this far is to be celebrated,” said Todt.  “However, there exists the opportunity to build something even stronger, for example a MENA Karting championship, to ensure that affordable and sustainable motor sport can continue to flourish here.”

“We see enormous potential for development, particularly among the next generation, which has been a focal point of this Congress. We have showcased the role that the exciting new disciplines of Drifting and Cross Car can play, and the ASNs were treated to a fine display of the Cross Car in action at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan in Marrakesh. As important, these disciplines can also serve as a laboratory for development and an education tool for improving road safety.”

The unique environments of the MENA region provide some of the most challenging events in the motor racing world. Rally and Cross Country are particularly strong disciplines within the region’s motor sport culture, and the Congress was an opportunity for the ASNs to come together to hear about the significant strides made in increasing Rally Safety since the last edition of the Congress.

Delegates were also encouraged to build on the recent success stories made possible by the Sport Grant Programme, in particular the Young Driver Training Programme.

In closing, President Todt said: “The MENA region faces some unique challenges, and the resilience of motor sport, and of those so dedicated to its sustainability, is truly remarkable. The FIA stands shoulder to shoulder with the member clubs and I am proud to be working together to keep driving the future of motor sport.”