ERC organisers attend FIA Rally and Cross-Country Officials Seminar in Prague
Organisers of the eight FIA European Rally Championship events were among a record number of 206 officials and representatives of the rally and cross-country communities, together with experts and speakers, who attended the 2020 FIA Rally and Cross-Country Officials Seminar in Prague from 17-18 January, the first to include both disciplines.
The delegates – stewards, clerks of the course, scrutineers and event organisers – representing 48 ASNs, spent two productive days at the Autoklub of the Czech Republic’s historic headquarters where they joined a number of interactive seminars, meetings and workshops.
Following a welcome video speech from FIA President Jean Todt, Yves Matton, the FIA Rally Director, officially opened the session, assisted by Jérôme Roussel, Category Manager – Regional Rally, and Jutta Kleinschmidt, President of the FIA Cross-Country Rally Commission.
Jan Stovicek, President of the Autoklub of the Czech Republic, and Tomáš Kunc, Secretary General, also delivered a short welcome message to the participants as the hosts of the event.
Matton started by recalling the FIA’s rally vision and summarising the main achievements from 2019. He then set out the aims for 2020, which included highlighting the rally pyramid and the introduction of the Rally3 category, which is set to begin in 2021. Jérôme Roussel followed up with an update on the Regional Rally Championships and a focus on the daring FIA’s Rally Star talent detection programme, due to be officially launched during the FIA Sport Conference in Thailand in June.
Scrutineers spent Friday morning attending a seminar hosted by the FIA Technical team before heading to the workshops of Racing 21, an FIA European Rally Championship entrant, for a practical session. The FIA Safety task force delivered a seminar on rally safety best practice.
Saturday’s agenda began with Uwe Schmidt, Rally Commission Vice-President, summarising changes to the International Sporting Code and Regional Rally Regulations for 2020.
The afternoon part of the seminar comprised sessions relating to the more practical aspects of the work of the officials, such as rally observer guidelines and rally control best practice. There was also a focus on the environment with observers attending regional rallies now tasked with completing a five-stage environmental section within their event report. The day ended with a number of steward case study sessions, before the closing speeches led by Yves Matton.
Summarising the seminar, the FIA Rally Director said: “It has been a great pleasure to see so many event officials joining this seminar and such a high level of professionalism and commitment during the sessions. We can never stop our efforts to maintain the highest standards and keep improving in the areas of regulations, safety and environment. In this regard, this meeting was, once again, an essential platform for sharing the latest updates and best practices.”