APRC looks ahead to 2019. India’s Chandhok re-elected President

India’s Vicky Chandhok was unanimously re-elected President of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship Working Group for a second two-year term at the annual meeting in Johor, Malaysia, on Monday, July 23.

Vicky Chandhok said: “It was a bit of a surprise that I was unanimously requested to continue as President for another term. Rallying continues its upward trend in the region and I am honoured to continue what we started two years ago. Our focus will be on expanding to new regions and continue growing the sport at the grass root level.”

Representatives from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Indonesia among others attend the meeting and the elections. Also present was Wayne Christie, President of the FIA Rally Commission to share FIA’s thoughts on the future of rallying and to also understand the challenges faced by the APRC and look at possible solutions for the future.

The members present felt that since the APRC was going through many challenges, it needed continuity at the helm, especially with the plans afoot to meet manufacturers in Japan and China. The incoming Vice President Sugita is enthusiastic about his new role and will soon be coordinating a meeting between the APRC Working Group and the Japanese Manufacturers to encourage them in joining the APRC from next year. 7 additional competitors in Japan have now registered for the Rally of Hokkaido taking the number of registered competitors into double digits for the first time in many years.

Deviating from the norms, they requested outgoing Vicky Chandhok who was not a candidate for the post to accept the Presidency for another term. Takahito Sugita (Japan) will serve as the Vice-President. Stalwarts Tengku Shaharin Abu Bakar (Malaysia) and Willard Martin (New Zealand) will serve on the executive committee along with Sugita and Chandhok.

Wayne Christie of the FIA requested Chandhok to join the FIA Regional Rally Working Group which will meet in Paris on August 21 to discuss all the FIA Regional Championships.

The Working Group meeting also put forward revised regulations, a Media plan and a tentative calendar of six events for 2019 which will be finalised in September of this year. India figures in the list of possible 2019 events. The Coffee Day India rally of 2018 will not run this year as originally scheduled citing lack of entries by the organisers. The next round will run in Japan followed by the China rally.