Over 200 delegates representing 93 countries assemble in the Philippines’ capital, with 11 headline speakers addressing the sixth edition the annual event FIA Sport Conference 2018.
The FIA’s sixth annual Sport Conference (4-6 June) was officially opened by FIA President Jean Todt on Monday in Manila, under the theme of “Empowering the Future: Unlocking Motor Sport’s Potential”.
Home to some of the most passionate motor sport fans in the world, a host of FIA events from grassroots through to the pinnacle in Formula One, and a rapidly growing motor sport industry, Asia Pacific is the ideal region to conduct such a forward-looking event.
The conference delegates heard sincere welcomes from the Cynthia Lazo, National Capital Region Director in the Department of Tourism, the Honourable Emy Calixto, Congresswoman, Pasay City, and Augusto Lagman, President of the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), before Graham Stoker, FIA Deputy President for Sport, highlighted the progress made across the previous five Sport Conferences, as well as the challenges that lie ahead for the sport.
In his opening address, Mr Todt touched on a variety of major topics affecting the future of motor sport, and how it can embrace the many opportunities to ensure its long-term success.
Providing as many people as possible with access to motor sport is one of the main priorities for the FIA and its clubs worldwide – said the FIA President.
One of the key challenges is how to engage with younger generations and inspire them to get involved in our sport, both as fans and competitors.
Mr Todt directed the FIA clubs to pay special attention to the development of Karting, and the potential of e-Karting.
E-Karting represents not only a new opportunity in terms of motor sport development, it also demonstrates that the world is changing, and that we need to be a change-leader!
E-Karting will be demonstrated at the Youth Olympic Games later this year in Buenos Aires – this marks a significant step for the FIA and its recognition by the International Olympic Committee in January 2012.
The President stressed that the FIA’s focus on the development of grassroots motor sport was not only restricted to circuit racing, but also in the rally and off-road disciplines and the development of the FIA’s Cross Car project, as well as in eSports through the FIA-certified Gran Turismo Online Championship.
Mr Todt then provided the FIA’s delegates from around the world with a health-check on the Federation’s major championships.
It is a great pleasure to have Chase Carey, CEO of Formula One with us… The FIA and Formula One work together in achieving the same strategic goals, for more spectacle and competition between teams, better safety and more technological innovation.
For the continued health of the sport we are discussing governance, cost management and technical simplification. To this end, we are conducting an in-depth dialogue with the teams and Power Unit suppliers already involved and potentially interested in joining F1.
After officially revealing the new FIA Formula E Gen-2 car during the Geneva Motor Show, the next Formula E season will see cars with double the battery life… technological advancement that will ultimately benefit all motorists.
The FIA World Endurance Championship will see new regulations for 2020 that will soon be announced, thanks to a joint effort by the FIA and the Promoter – and we look forward to seeing the championship going from strength-to-strength.
The new World Touring Car Cup is working very well – with 26 cars on the grid and exciting racing… At the same time we continue to work towards the development of a sustainable World Touring Car Championship for the future.
We celebrate the success of the World Rally Championship, and we look forward to an evolution in World Rallycross towards electric technology in 2020.
Mr Todt urged the delegates to be resolute in striving for the advancement and growth of sustainable motor sport, before declaring the sixth FIA Sport Conference open.