FIA/CACMS congress meets in Kigali

CACMS congress, hosted at Kigali Convention Center and Radission Blu Hotel in Kigali, started yesterday and will be coming to a close on Saturday. / Courtesy

The Confederation of Africa Countries Motorsport (C.A.C.M.S.) congress is meeting at Kigali Convention Center and Radisson Blue Hotel in Kigali to decide on matters pertaining Africa Rally Championship.

The 3-day congress that started on Thursday, has convened representatives from 18 countries, has in presence the International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt as well as some of its senior officials. The congress will climax Saturday.

On its opening day yesterday, it was decided that Rule 2 will stay where no points or overall classification will be awarded to the finishers who fail to return on Day 2 of the rally action.

The sudden rule has now caught many of the motor rally competitors unaware.

It is also observed that the new rule on Safety Fuel Tanks has knocked out a lot of cars in the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) – citing they are not FIA homologated.

The compulsory rule for Safety Fuel Tank was decided during the World Motorsports Council meeting held in Paris, France last December and came into enforcement in June this year, starting with the fourth round of ARC.

It was decided that all crews wishing to score ARC points must have the FT3 safety fuel tank.

Rally expert Abdul Sidi from Kenya in his comments has said that this is a sudden rule that has caught many of the competitors by surprise. Officials have asked the FIA to revisit this rule to make sure rallying does not suffer immensely.

Surinder Thatthi, the CACMS Chairman said, “This rule was first introduced in 2015 but it seems it was not brought to the intention of the stakeholders.”

The meeting also decided that the rule stays and drivers have to comply, a worry that will see less of the FIA homologated cars in the ARC series.

Yves Matton, the head of the FIA Rally Department was adamant that the rule will stay as some countries are working towards the success of the competition.

“All the seven ARC nations are not happy with the rule as it knocks out 13 out of the so-called 14 FIA Homologated cars,” he pointed out.

However, it was proposed that CACMS should write to FIA to reconsider this particular rule because countries like Australia have pulled out of the Asia/Pacific Rally Championship because of this very reason.

According to rally experts, the rule will see Kenya face difficulty in its bid to seek World Rally Championship (WRC) status with only about three or four homologated cars in the country.

The Kenyan Government this year put in place committees to oversee reinstating the Safari Rally into the WRC calendar by 2020.

The Safari – as it has become known – was part of the WRC annual calendar until 2002 when Kenya was stripped of its world status by governing body FIA because of Safety, promotion and other concerns.

Matton, the head of the FIA Rally Department, who is also the former Citroen Team Manager, is also attending the Regional Congress meeting in Kigali.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

ADVERTISEMENT