National Sporting Authorities from the region come together to explore a wide range of motor sport development topics
80 representatives from 17 ASNs and ACNs assembled in Copenhagen this week for the fifth FIA Sport Regional Congress Europe NEZ.
Over the course of an intensive two-day programme (18-19 October), the delegates and FIA experts interacted and collaborated during a range of plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops designed to prioritise the region’s Sport agenda.
The Congress was led by FIA President Jean Todt and FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, with the support and direction of Juhani Pakari, FIA Coordinator for NEZ and World Motor Sport Council member for Finland, Mr Johannes Fraas, Chairman of the NEZ Council, and FIA ASN Development Task Force President Andrew Papadopoulos.
The Congress was kindly hosted by the Danish ASN Dansk Automobil Sports Union and its President Mr Henrik Møller-Nielsen.
An intense debate on how best to advance motor sport in the region addressed current challenges, strengthening government relations, and benefitting from and influencing EU policy on sport. Rally Safety experts outlined the continuous cycle of improvements with both competitors and spectators in mind. The FIA Research department also shared insights into the most recent developments in devices, standards and best practice to improve safety in motor sport.
This year, six different workshops sessions were available to delegates to explore and debate progress in Digital Motor Sport, Electric Motor Sport, Sustainability, Women in Motorsport, Risk Management & Insurance and FIA Training programmes.
“Member clubs from across the region can be proud of their achievements in the continued development of motor sport”, said President Todt. “This annual Congress is intended to celebrate their success, but also to remind ourselves of the need to work hard in the pursuit of even greater improvements. This we have done through a meeting of minds, debating ideas, and sharing best practice. As ever, it has been an inspiring event.
“I would like to thank our hosts, DASU, for their exceptional organisation and hospitality. Although our programme has been intensive, it was pleasing to have an opportunity to experience this progressive city.
“The region is extremely dynamic, with 340 events registered to the FIA International Calendar, plus 20 CIK and 172 International Series events. It hosts 36 World Championship rounds including seven Formula 1 Grands Prix, eight World Rally Championship events, five rounds of the World Endurance Championship and seven in the World Rallycross Championship.
“In Rally, 14 of the 23 invited countries organise international rallies within the FIA Championships in ERT, ERC and WRC. The inclusion of the Silk Way Rally to the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies calendar means that the Russian Federation will also be represented next year.
“We can also note many successful competitors, most recently 2019 FIA F2 Champion Nyck de Vries, from the Netherlands, FIA F3 Champion Robert Shwartzman, from the Russian Federation, and the leading six drivers in World Rallycross. We also follow with interest the aspiring stars of the future impressing in FIA Karting events.
“At the end of this month we head to Rome for the inaugural edition of the FIA Motorsport Games, where entries from this region make up 44% of the total for the event across all classes. In particular, the Russian Automobile Federation will have representation in all six categories.
“On the matter of sustainability, I commend our Clubs for their strong commitment to reducing the overall environmental impact of our activities.”
In closing, President Todt said: “This Congress has once again highlighted the spirit of unity between the ASNs and ACNs. Our visit to Copenhagen has been short but significant, and we are already excited to see what the region can achieve during the next twelve months.”