Jean Todt to run unopposed in FIA presidential election

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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.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.