Group A lobby

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Sir,
Who makes the decisions at FISA? Who are they answerable to? The recent peremptory cancelling of the European Touring Car Championship doesn’t seem to have pleased anybody — spectators, sponsors, journalists or least of all teams. The timing of the announcement at the end of the 1988 season, when teams were planning their 1989 efforts, is most unsporting. Drivers are scrambling for jobs; the Fina team cars and equipment are up for sale; Nissan was developing a good car, now obsolete. I belong to two sporting car clubs in Australia, both affiliated to CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) which is in turn affiliated to the FIA. I’m sure that neither they nor the spectators are ever consulted about FISA decisions that are relevant to them.

Group A is a good formula for touring cars — not perfect, but generally about right. The important point is that it is widely accepted around the world, and in the absence of a world series is the peak of the sport: a de facto World Championship to which other Group A countries can aspire. Witness the expense and effort numerous Australians went to to bring their Holdens half-way round the world to compete in 1986 and 1987. The Dick Johnson Sierra “cat among the pigeons” at the Silverstone TT was the tip of an iceberg enjoyed by all concerned. Perhaps all the “Group A countries” could form an association to lobby FISA. If they could agree to rule alterations within the concept (perhaps along German series lines) to even out competition and equalise performance, they would have an excellent case to present. Who knows, we might end up with a world series!

Anthony Healey, Tooting, London