DECEMBER 8, 1997
THE FIA Deputy President Cesar Torres has died of cancer at the age of 54. Torres built a media empire around the Lusa news agency while enjoying a successful career in Portuguese racing and rallying. He later helped to establish the Portuguese Rally as a regular round of the FIA World Rally Championship and his efforts led to a seat on the sporting commission of the Automovel Club de Portugal in 1972. Two years later he became its president and became involved in FIA politics.
In 1978 he supported Jean-Marie Balestre's plan to establish the FISA as an independent sporting federation and became a FISA Vice-President as a result. Two years later he won control of the ACP. In the early 1980s he was the prime mover in getting Estoril upgraded and the first modern Portuguese GP took place at the track in 1984.
The motorsport connections helped Torres become president of the Estoril Coast tourist office and between 1990-1991 he was Portugal's Minister of Tourism.
After Balestre's defeat in the FISA elections of 1991 Torres - representing the Balestre camp - was mentioned as a possible rival to Max Mosley for the presidency of the FIA but a deal was struck in which Torres became Mosley's deputy. He was re-elected to the role in October.
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