We have witnessed the ceremonial turnover of hosting the World Sport Conference of Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) to our Automobile Association of the Philippines last February 14, 2018. This might not be a big deal for people who are not in the know, but believe me, it is really a very important step for our country’s motor sports scene!
The FIA sent Ms. Frederique Trouve, the Sport Conference Project Director, and her entourage to present the plaque to AAP’s President Gus Lagman, Mobility Director Dr. Mina Gabor and motor sport Chairman Mandy Eduque. The FIA conference will be supported by our government through the Department of Tourism with Usec Allan Canizal and Asec Ricky Alegre representing Secretary Corazon Wanda Teo.
Petron Corporation was also present with Marketing AVP Ana Neri, Local Station Marketing Manager Bong Paguia and Marketing Associate Anna Francheska Garcia. With all of these VIPs in one place, you know that this conference is special.
What is FIA?
The FIA is the governing body of the 4 Wheeled motor sport events in the whole world. They organize the world championships for Formula 1, Rally, Endurance Racing, Touring Car and Rallycross. These are the top tiers of racing and rallying and are what all the young racers aspire to.
The Philippines’ FIA designated National Sporting Authority is the AAP and they govern the country’s local national motor sport programs according to FIA standards. The goal is to prepare our racers for international competitions and also get our local organizers to build their professional level like their foreign counterparts.
There are other world governing bodies especially in the USA – Indycar and Nascar, and in Europe – Dakar Rally, that are not part of the FIA, but all of them move for better safety and exciting racing action. Everyone recognizes the work done by each to make motor sports the best in the world.
The FIA Sport Conference is a gathering of all the national sporting authorities around the world and talk about the direction of the motor sports globally. In last year’s 2017 Sport Conference held in Torino, Switzerland, the best and brightest of the world of motor sports shared their views with more than 600 participants from 109 countries.
The conference has blossomed into motor sport displays called the MotorEX Village. This is a good way to showcase all the latest technologies and see how the other countries can learn from it.
The World Motorsport Council also convenes during the conference and talks about the World Championships above. These talks are vital to get everyone that is associated in the sport a chance to be heard and see where their much-loved sport is leading to.
The increase use of electric and hybrid vehicles in general motoring and racing such as Formula E, Endurance Racing and Karting have put the organizers in a state of awe and confusion as to where the sport will lead.
The young generation is also losing their interest in doing motor sports and the FIA is looking for ways to attract them back. They have recently launched the E-games Championship and have campaigned teenagers to be more active in road safety.
Another new development was the creation of the Formula 4 Championship in different regions to plot the course for Formula One aspirants. The F4SEA Championship was supported by Petron regionally and was the first time that our country’s oil industry leader did it. The Filipino-British drivers Ben and Sam Grimes gave us good reasons to be hopeful as they won a round here in the Philippines.
The local racers will now be able to benefit in this conference by seeing the latest technologies available, see the racing drivers that will be attending and showcase their wares in the racing exhibitions set up for the guests. There are event talks of getting a round of the Asian Gmkhana over in June to show the delegates how this format is taking the region by storm.
All in all, the focus will now be shifting towards motor sports after a lot of other sports have taken the limelight out of it. This world conference is the just the right shot in the arm that our passion for the sport needs and maybe will lead to the revival of the golden age of racing in the country! Godspeed to all and let us all welcome this activity with open arms!