New FIA boss is in familiar territory

Tuesday December 28 2021
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This file photo taken on April 12, 2012 shows former Middle East rally champion and vice-president International Federation of Automobiles (FIA) Mohammed Ben Sulayem speaking during a press conference in Kuwait City. Mohammed Ben Sulayem became the first non-European to be elected president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on December 17, 2021 and succeeds the retiring Jean Todt. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT | AFP


Fourteen times Middle East Rally Champion, Mohamed Ben Sulayem has taken over as FIA President.

He was elected during the FIA General Assembly on December 17. Sulayem replaces Jean Todt, who has served as the head of the World Motor Sports Governing Body for the past 12 years.

Robert Read, who navigated Richard Burns at the height of their rallying careers, will be the FIA Deputy President.

Prior to his election, Sulayem was the Deputy President of the FIA (Sport) representing the United Arab Emirates.


Carl Tundo and Tim Jessop received their trophy for winning the 2021 African Rally Championship crown during the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Paris last week.  Robert Dewar also received FIA Founding Members Club Heritage Award



Despite all the major challenges encountered in one of the toughest marathon rallies in Africa, Aslam Khan is on course to tackle the 2022 East African Safari Classic Rally in his Porsche 911.

“Taking part in the Classic Rally at the wheels of a Classic Car, is one of the most thrilling adventures one can have regardless of the challenges one faces in the competition which is run mainly on the open roads. Driving classic cars is even more fun than competing in the modern rally cars,’’ said Khan.

Khan, who will be celebrating his ninth appearance in as many editions of the KQ-sponsored raid rally, is among the seventeen local crews out of the list of 56 preparing to participate in the rally.

The 64-year-old navigator-cum-driver, will be at the wheels of one of the 20 Porsche rally cars that have been entered by various teams and individual drivers from across the globe.

Aslam will be navigated by his younger brother Arshad Khan in the Carrera 911 version of the Porsche.  Fifty-two cars have entered the East African Classic Safari Rally. The 10-day event will take place in February.

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