ERC officials among record world attendance at second FIA Rally and Cross-Country webinar – FIA ERC

ERC officials among record world attendance at second FIA Rally and Cross-Country webinar

A record number of 500 officials and representatives of the rally and cross-country communities from 84 countries, as well as experts and guest speakers, attended the 2022 FIA Rally and Cross-Country Officials Seminar on January 10 and 11, the virtual format offering such a level of opportunity for participation.

Made up of Stewards, Clerks of the Course and event organisers, delegates were invited to attend sessions on the latest developments in the International Sporting Code and sporting regulations, rally safety updates, the drafting of additional regulations and the role and duties of Stewards at events. .

The seminar began with a welcome message from FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who underlined the strength of the different rally disciplines, with more than 50 ASNs organizing international events on all continents, and the importance of sharing best practices and decisions at all FIA events.

An opening session moderated by FIA Rally Department category manager Jérôme Roussel and Andrew Wheatley provided a recap of the 2021 season in WRC, regional rally and cross-country, as well as a preview of 2022 , including a review of the opening round of the inaugural FIA World Rally Raid Championship, the Dakar, and the exciting FIA Rally Star talent scouting initiative, which continues to gain momentum following the first Continental Final in Germany last month. It was also an opportunity for the newly elected presidents of the Cross-Country Commission, Dimitry Makhenya, and the WRC Commission, Roger Engström, to introduce themselves to the participants.

FIA Vice-President for Sport Robert Reid gave a well-received speech to kick off the two-day seminar, outlining the new presidential team’s motorsport ambitions and vision for rallying and cross-country, which elicited many questions and reactions from the meeting participants.

“This seminar is a very important feature of the rally and cross-country calendar for the year, ensuring people are kept up to date, giving people the opportunity to share best practice and experience and to usually reunite,” he said. “It also gives participants an understanding of the vision but also some of the technical details in terms of regulatory changes and of course, very importantly, safety updates. We publish rally safety guidelines every year and it is really important that everyone understands the safety obligations and works together to create a safe sport.

“We were elected just over 50 days ago for a term of growth, transparency and regional empowerment, with the vision that the FIA ​​should be a global voice for motorsport and mobility around the world. Certainly, from these goals, regional empowerment is very important, and although we have the World Rally Championship and now a World Cross Country Championship, we also have regional championships around the world. it is very important for us to see these championships supported, these championships grow.

Uwe Schmidt, member of the FIA ​​Rally and Cross-Country Commissions, used the first sessions to summarize the changes to the International Sporting Code and Regional Rally Regulations as well as the Cross-Country Sporting Regulations for 2022. He and Roussel spoke to delegates about each rule update, taking the time to answer questions from the audience.

The FIA ​​Safety Department organized a comprehensive session informing delegates on various aspects of rally safety. Clément Lauté presented the revised version of the Rally Safety Guidelines, which takes into account the latest requirements and technical innovations of the start of the season, as well as an overview of the Smart Tracking solutions approved for event organizers at local level. He listed fia.com/rally-safety as the main reference center for all FIA Rally Safety documentation, now also including ready-to-use campaign visuals for rally spectator safety as well as Smart and Regional specifications Tracking.

Yvan Devigne explained to the participants the electronic safety elements and operational procedures related to the new generation Rally1 cars. This included an overview of the e-learning modules, on-site training and toolkits provided by the FIA ​​to help safety delegates, marshals and event organisers.

As part of their presentation on operational safety in rallying, FIA Safety Delegate Michèle Mouton and Deputy Safety Delegate Nicolas Klinger recalled the role of the safety caravan and the importance of managing spectator areas . Key competitor safety requirements, such as pre-competition checks and protective clothing, were also outlined, before the session concluded with an analysis of several case studies.

The second day of the seminar began with a session on drafting and verifying complementary regulations with the objectives of recalling the main regulatory requirements, providing practical recommendations for the organizers to create the document and highlighting the recurring problems that the observers should check. Acropolis Rally race director and FIA sporting delegate for the ERC, Anita Passalis, joined Schmidt and Roussel to share their expertise and experience.

A final meeting covering the role and duties of stewards at events was moderated by Schmidt and Waltraud Wunsch and was followed by an interactive and hands-on session on specific case studies presented by FIA Stewards Mazen Al Hilli, Jean -Pierre Tardent, Edoardo Delleani, Jordi Parro and Silver Kütt.

Summing up and concluding the event, Robert Reid said: “It was a very successful webinar and I would like to thank the FIA ​​Rally and Safety departments for hosting this annual event virtually, the contributors to the various sessions, the Stewards Athletes to share these case studies. Looking at the chat, I believe everyone is thinking alike and very grateful for this encounter and opportunity. It’s great to see the engagement and also to see so many The restrictions brought about by COVID-19 have obviously created difficulties, but a positive thing to come from this is that we have been able to adopt these online platforms, which allows many delegates to attend. I’m glad the meeting can go like this. Once again, thanks to everyone’s contribution, for the excellent presentations and experiences shared today and have a safe 2022 season and successful.

About Joseph Minton

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