Todt re-elected as FIA President, plans “ambitious” second term

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Jean Todt has won re-election as FIA President to a second four-year term, with the path made slightly easier by the fact he ran unopposed. David Ward, who announced his candidacy in August, withdrew in November.

Over the next four years, Todt called his outline “ambitious,” but “built on the solid foundations of reforms” from the past four years.

His first pillar to attack, he said, was to improve the governance and administration of the FIA. To do so, a Resource Allocation Working Group will be created and composed of worldwide representatives.

“It will be their task to determine how best to use the new resources arising from new activities and including the renegotiation of the [Formula One] Concorde Agreement,” he said.

Next up is motorsport development, with a grassroots strategy as outlined from World Motor Sport Council meetings and from two separate task forces, the Motor Sport Development Task Force and the ASN Development Task Force.

The third and fourth pillars are FIA Mobility, aimed at improving club growth, and road safety and sustainability, as the FIA continues to be an advocate for that.

“Our common goal, our common ambition, is for the FIA and its global network to become ever stronger, more united and more respected around the world,” Todt said to close his remarks.“We understand and appreciate the responsibilities you have given us. In the four years to come, we will be committed to work on these goals, to serve the FIA, to defend your interests, and to promote our sport and mobility for the motorist. Together, we are going to go further and bring the FIA to a higher level.”

Besides overseeing F1 during his first four years, Todt was also instrumental in the launch and creation of the FIA’s new-for-2012 World Endurance Championship. While sports car racing has, in recent years, become almost more of a technological haven than F1 has, it still hasn’t grown to anywhere near the level of popularity or interest as F1.

It will be intriguing to watch how much attention Todt pays to the other FIA World Championships besides F1, including WEC, World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship, over the stint of his second term.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne