BARBADOS JOINS WORLD MOTOR SPORT ELITE

Motor sport in Barbados was represented at the highest level this month when the sport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), held its Annual General Assembly in Paris, France. President of the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) Andrew Mallalieu and Vice-President John Sealy joined representatives from more than 130 countries as Jean Todt, who visited the island last August, was voted in for a second four-year term as FIA President.
Founded in 2001, the BMF is the governing body of motor sport in the island (ASN), one of only 10 FIA member countries with a population of less than 1 million; since the beginning of 2012, Barbados has enjoyed the distinction of representing the 23 clubs in the region’s 16 countries, including the United States, on the FIA Rallies Commission, and Mallalieu was re-elected to that position in Paris.
In addition, Sealy was re-elected to the 24-strong World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism (WCAMT) for the next four years, representing FIA Mobility Region III, which also includes Jamaica, Mexico, North America and Trinidad & Tobago.
On their return, Mallalieu said: “With John representing North America on the World Council, and my position at the Rallies Commission, Barbados is certainly punching above its weight in helping to set the direction for both mobility and sport in the region.”
During the five days leading up to the final night’s FIA Prize Giving Gala (Friday, December 6), there was a packed schedule of meetings in which both BMF officials were involved. Sealy attended the ASN Forum, at which FIA President Todt emphasised the importance of developing the highest standards of motor sport across the regions, regardless of whether the ASN was well established or emergent.
After the FIA Sport department unveiled its plans to develop motor sport in future years, the new ASN Development Manual was launched. The result of an exhaustive survey of the needs of ASNs across the world, the manual provides guidance broken down into three key areas – ASN Structure and Management; Organising Competitions; Licensing and Training.
Sealy said: “A great deal of work in these areas has already been done in Barbados, but the FIA’s plans to encourage greater co-operation between ASNs and to appoint Regional Co-ordinators will result in the sharing of ideas to the benefit of all.”
Mallalieu was involved in the bi-annual meeting of Formula 1 Stewards, chaired by FIA Deputy President Graham Stoker and attended by F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting and former GP driver Derek Warwick. In addition to sitting on the Rallies Commission, Mallalieu has been an FIA Steward at rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Among the decisions reached was a determination to pursue consistency in decision-making during grands prix, considered to be at the heart of maintaining credibility. The review of the 2013 season followed a meeting earlier in the year, at which Stewards and Whiting met drivers and team representatives, who highlighted a number of key issues they believed would help Stewards reach their goal of uniformity in decision-making.
Commenting on the meeting, Whiting said that good communication was key to keeping Stewards up to date and that their twice-yearly meetings are a critical part of their duties. He added: “The F1 Race Stewards are clearly determined to continue improving the system of stewarding, which is extremely important to Formula 1.”
While the BMF concentrated on local motor sport issues in its early years, its importance outside the island’s shores has steadily grown. Mallalieu added: “The work of the BMF, its committee and its member clubs continues to bear fruit. In our first 13 years of operation, the BMF has successfully introduced a shared calendar agreed between all the clubs, a structured training programme for officials and volunteers and now manages a duty free scheme for the benefit of competitors.
“The redeveloped Bushy Park offers a huge opportunity for island motor sport to move to a whole new level, and to play a significant role on the international stage, not only for Barbados, but also the wider Caribbean. Discussions are already on-going with race promoters around the world with the aim of hosting significant international events at Bushy Park in 2014 and 2015.”

Editor’s note: affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which rules the sport worldwide, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) is the island’s governing body for motor sport; it also represents the interests of its member Clubs in discussions with Government departments which facilitate the sport in the island, in particular the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which permits road closures for an agreed number of events each year. Away from motor sport, the BMF affiliate which answers the FIA Mobility remit is the Barbados Automobile Association (BAA), which is an executive committee member of the Barbados National Road Safety Council.

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