Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)

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Mention is frequently made to the FIA and its various working groups without being more specific than referring to “them”, and usually in derogatory terms in the same way as most people refer to Her Majesty’s Government. This is not surprising in view of the fact that the FIA is the government of motor sport in all its facets, from Kart racing to Formula One racing and Autocross to the Safari Rally, and has been since competition between two mechanically propelled vehicles first took place, though over the years the title of this governing body has been changed. As the title indicates, it is a French-inspired organisation, with its headquarters in Paris, which is only right and proper as the French started it all in 1894, with the first motoring competition from Paris to Rouen. Over the years there have been those who would like to transfer the centre of control from Paris to London, Geneva, or some other unlikely place, but all to no avail, for moving the motoring government from Paris would be like moving our Government from Westminster or the Queen from Buckingham Palace.

In the early days there was such a small amount of motoring Competition taking place each year that a handful of people in Paris could control the whole thing, keeping in touch with neighbouring National motoring clubs, like our own Royal Automobile Club, by normal written correspondence. Today, with hundreds of motoring events taking place each month, with member clubs throughout the World, and the enormous variety of motoring activities to be administered to, the make-up of the FIA is enormous, with sub-committees specialising in each activity and representation really World-wide. Although most of us harangue the FIA or its various committees at various times, we rarely give them any praise, but if it was not for the overall management in Paris, there would not be any motoring competition as we know it. Stemming from the top it is the FIA or its committees that keep our sport on an even keel in respect of the laws of the various lands, and if we did not have this overall government, motoring sport in many countries would have long since been outlawed and any competitive motoring would have to be done in the small hours when officialdom and the laws of the land were not watching.

It might not go amiss to look a little closer at some of the Committees and some of the people who keep the administration wheels turning so that the Colin Chapmans, Eric Broadleys and Ralph Broads of the World are not keeping their own wheels turning in vain. Not only do all aspects of the sport come under the jurisdiction and control of the FIA, but all aspects of everyday motoring as well, so the parent body turned over all sporting considerations to the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI). The President of the CSI is Pierre Ugeux of Belgium and his Secretary is Frenchman Claude Le Guezec. There are eighty-one countries affiliated to the FIA for sporting purposes, of which 21 have two representatives apiece on the CSI, from as far afield as Argentina to Sweden and Canada to South Africa. While most countries are represented by businessmen with time to spare or permanent staff of the National Club, like our own Dean Delamont and Basil Tye of the Royal Automobile Club, some names are unknown and even unpronounceable, while others are well-known, like Argentina’s representatives, J. M. Fangio and J. M. Bordeu. Germany fields Huschke von Hanstein as one of her representatives and France has Guy Verrier.

Naturally this group of people cannot cope with everything, so committees are formed to specialise and from England Basil Tye and A. T. Burgess sit on a special group dealing with Kart racing. There are eight subcommittees to cover all aspects of motoring competitions and these are listed below with Great Britain’s representatives in each case and other noteworthy members.

1. Technical Regulations: President: Curt Schad (CH). Vice-President; Paul Frere (B). Among the members are Dean Delamont (GB) and journalist Gerard Crombac (F).

2. Sporting Regulations: President: Pierre Ugeux (B). Vice-l’resident: Victor Ceard (1). Among the members arc Chris Belton (GB), Huschke von Hanstein (D) and Guy Verrier (F).

3. Circuits and Safety: President: Tom Binford (USA). Vice-President: H. Schmitz (D). Among the members are Basil Tye (GB), Bob Hanna (CND) and Guy Vernier (H.

4. Rallies: President: Alexandre Darcloufas (OR). Among the members are Jack Kemsley (GB), Claude Fin (MC), Cesare Mori° (I) and Jean Todt (F).

5. Off Road Activities: President: John Corsmit (NL). Among the members are Basil Tye (GB), Hubert de Harlez (B) and Herbert Schmitz (D),

6. Calendar Group: President: Herbert Schmitz (*), with reeresentatives from France, Germany, USA, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Sweden.

7. Historical Cars: President: Johnny I.urani (I). Vice-President: Kenneth Neve (G)3). Among the members are Michael Bowler (GB), Philippe Renault (F), George Minden (CND).

8. Formula One : President: Tom Binford (USA). Michael Boeri (MC) and John Corsmit (NL)— CSI members. P. Chevalier (F) and Mal Currie (USA)—Race Organisers. H. Schmitz (0) and Alex Blignnut (SA)—Deputy Organisers. Two representatives from the Constructors. Two representatives from the Sponsors—Philip Morris (Marlboro) and ELF. Two representatives from the drivers (GPDA).

NB.—(Cli) Switzerland, (13) Belgium, (013) Great Britain, (17) France, (I/ Italy, (I)) Germany, (OR) Greece, (MC) Monte Carlo, (USA) United States of America, (CND) Canada. (SA) South Africa, (NIL) !loll:Md.

In addition to these working sub-committees there is an International Court of Appeal comprising two members from each of twelve countries, and our two are N. Mills-Baldwin and C. A. S. (Tony) Brooks, and their job is to sort out protests, infringement of rules, bad behaviour and suchlike.

As can be seen, our sport on an International scale doesn’t just happen, nor does it look after itself, its control and management involves a great number of people and a great deal of time.—D.S.J.

RAC Chairman Sir Clive Bossom, who is also Chairman of the British Motorsport Council, has visited Iran and Singapore to interest the authorities in constructing proper racing circuits. Sir Clive sees such developments as a boost to the British motor racing industry: exports of racing engines and accessories earned Britain £1 I million in 1975.

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