In his opening address at today’s WRC launch, FIA president Jean Todt talked of his passion for the WRC, his optimism for the forthcoming 2010 season and his determination to ensure a bright future for the sport in general.
Todt, a former WRC co-driver and Peugeot Rally Team manager, said his vision for the future of the sport involved further reducing cost barriers whilst increasing competition and improving the spectacle.
“2010 definitely is an important year,” said Todt. “It’s the start of a new decade, the start of my mandate as FIA president, and everybody knows rally has been very strongly implanted in my heart for many years. I started my career in rally and I have never lost that very strong overview. Now I have a strong mandate as president of the FIA to address the situation of motorsport, and rally will be amongst my priorities.”
“I’m very optimistic we are going to have a great 2010 championship but I’m even more optimistic about the future of rallying. We know a lot of things have to be improved and it’s our whole commitment to make sure that happens – on the sporting side and on the technical side – and to make sure we create a much bigger interest for manufacturers, from private competitors and the media. I must say I am excited by the challenge,” he added.
Todt welcomed the appointment of North One Sport as WRC promoters from the start of this year, and also outlined plans to support the worldwide grass roots development of the sport via a recently formed FIA working group.
“We have a new promoter now, with a strong input and the heart to make things happen. In addition we have created a Global Rally Working Group which is going to address the situation for rallying all over the world. WRC is the pinnacle but we have to address rallying around the globe,” he said.