News and views on motorsports

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sir Jackie For President

This story has been circulating around for a few days now. Apparently, JYS has the backing of a number of parties for the presidency of the FIA. The source of the story was apparently this article on the Scotsman.

As to why the current FIA president needs removal, we all know the reason for that. Various people including Tsutomu Tomita, Shoichi Tanaka and Frank Williams have all expressed dismay at the lack of regulatory stability surrounding Formula 1. Frank Williams going so far as to refer to Mosley as "corrupted by power."

Apparently according to this article on PlanetF1, the Group Of Nine stands ready to back JYS for the presidency.

Sir Jackie is currently president of the British Racing Drivers Club. His office is under siege by members of the Club. It started last year when Ray Bellm, the former chairman of the BRDC negotiated a five year deal with Bernie Ecclestone to run the British Grand Prix. This irked JYS somewhat as that meant the deal ran beyond the termination of the current Concorde Agreement. Perhaps JYS knew something even back then and wanted a three year deal instead.

So, in January JYS threatened to resign his office should Ray Bellm remain. And so, the BRDC board removed Ray Bellm instead. Now the former Group C sportscar racer (remember the Spice Pontiac Fiero?) has apparently returned with a "whispering" campaign against JYS. A poll carried out by members of the BRDC showed a majority supporting the removal of JYS from office. Their bone of contention? The protracted negotiations between the BRDC and Bernie Ecclestone on the British Grand Prix. Apparently the brinkmanship on both sides were not to the members' satisfaction.

However, the BRDC board members have voted in support of JYS and has called on the members to do the same.

That Jackie has the minerals to go up against the likes of Bernie Ecclestone wins my support already. In addition, here is a former world champion and successful team owner who has been involved in all levels of motorsport. Not just Formula 1, but Formula Vauxhall, Formula 3 and Formula 3000 with his son Paul Stewart. I still remember meeting Sir Jackie at the grandstand on Paddock Hill bend in Brands Hatch 9 years ago. He stood up there watching with great intensity as his Formula 3 cars circulated in the Indy short track.

So here is someone who can help not only the highest pinnacle of motorsport but the feeder series below. I read somewhere once that when the motorsports council meets, the hours are spent talking about Formula 1. Only about 10 minutes is given to all other motorsports put together. Yes, that includes your world rally, sportscars, touring cars and junior formulae. Somehow I have a feeling Jackie would pay more attention to these matters because he's been there with a team competing in these other categories.

I think the vast majority of people respect in the sport respect JYS not only for his knowledge and experience but also for his integrity. And I should think he would make a fine FIA president. Its time lawyers made way for people who know the business.

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