FIA to resume APAC rally championship as part of regional development plan

FIA presidential hopeful Graham Stoker leading initiative alongside Janette Tan and Andrew Papadopoulos.

FIA to resume APAC rally championship as part of regional development plan

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  • Plan formed of six pillars for APAC development
  • Organisation to implement new championships in rally, karting and esports
  • Follows FIA's plan to develop motorsport in Africa

FIA for All, the programme led by International Automobile Federation (FIA) presidential candidate Graham Stoker, has announced the return of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) as part of a development plan for motorsport in the region.

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) motorsport initiative has been created with support from Janette Tan, chairperson of the FIA's volunteers and officials commission, and Andrew Papadopoulos, president of the FIA's ASN development taskforce.

The blueprint for the plan is underpinned by six pillars - reinvigorating APAC motorsport; strengthening ties with commercial partners, as well as car manufacturers; working group activation; strengthening APAC sports clubs; and creating links with social responsibility programmes and legacy projects.

Under the first pillar, reinvigorating APAC motorsport, the aim is to create new regional championships in karting, esports, drag racing, historic cars and rally. Additionally, grassroots and talent detection programmes will be implemented to bolster the long-term health of the APRC, which has been running since 1988.

The second pillar, strengthening ties with commercial partnerships and car manufacturers, will look at creating a single-manufacturer championship, as well as increase branding and sponsorship opportunities.

Thirdly, working groups will be activated to improve APAC sports clubs in the areas of karting, esports, rally, female participation and grassroots motorsport. The idea is for sports clubs to undergo significant transformation via improved structures, regular consultation, bolstered communication strategies and the establishment of a mentoring programme.

Social responsibility programmes are also an area of focus for FIA for All. These include the development and improvement of sustainability initiatives, getting more women into motorsport, youth engagement, road safety, activating the F1 in Schools programme, general science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) campaigns, as well as disability and accessibility programmes.

Finally, as part of its legacy pillar, the FIA plan will look to create a young drivers academy, an 'arrive and drive' series and the formation of a single-make series.

"Developing motorsport is a central part of our campaign," said Stoker. "This proposal will have an immediate and positive effect on the region, and will play on the strengths of our sport clubs by reviving the Asia-Pacific working groups amongst other action plans."

Tan added: "While motorsport has faced some challenges in the Asia-Pacific region due to the global pandemic, this plan will ensure that we seize on the opportunities to grow the sport in this fast-developing region.

"The idea is to build on grassroots events in all disciplines and enable a pathway for different groups to move up the racing pyramid. We want to build on the existing success of the grassroots motor sport programmes and ensure that participation and audiences increase alongside that."

The announcement to develop motorsport in the APAC region follows the release of a similar plan by FIA for All to develop motorsport across Africa.