Jean Todt is poised to enjoy a second term as FIA president after his only rival, Britain’s David Ward, pulled out of the race today after failing to gain enough support to oppose the incumbent Frenchman.
“It has not proved possible for me to secure the required number of regional vice-presidents for sport to ensure the eligibility of my list,” he wrote in a letter to the FIA clubs. “I, therefore, would like to offer my congratulations to Jean Todt who will secure a second term uncontested if not unopposed.”
Ward had resigned as president of the FIA Foundation earlier this year in order to challenge Todt. However, he went on to explain that a lack of support in North America has proved fatal for his campaign to displace the former Ferrari CEO.
“In the FIA’s North American region, eleven out of the twelve clubs signed an agreement to support Jean Todt in March. This left only one club available to provide a vice-president for my list,” Ward said. “Clubs from the region that are sympathetic to my candidacy would have to break their previous pledge of support. It is understandable that they have been reluctant to do so.”
Therefore, unless a candidate enters the race at the last minute before tomorrow’s deadline for applications, Todt will be unopposed. He will therefore enjoy another four years at the head of world motorsport, but he will not be able to stand for a third term in 2017.