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OCTOBER 6, 2001

FIA confirms its move back to Paris

THE FIA has confirmed that it will be moving back to Paris next year. Officially the governing body says it will be back in Paris in January but this will probably depend on rebuilding work which we understand is running slightly behind schedule. The FIA will take up residence in offices in the top floors of the Automobile Club de France on the Place de la Concorde.

The Automobile Club de France is the oldest automobile club in the world, founded in November 1895 by Count Albert de Dion (of De Dion-Bouton fame) and several of his friends in the automobile business. The organization began hosting races in 1896 and produced the first sporting code in 1899. Races were run to ACF rules for nearly 10 years but in June 1904 the representatives of the six countries taking part in the Gordon Bennett Cup race at Bad Homberg, near Frankfurt in Germany (France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria and Belgium) met and agreed that it would be a good idea to have an international federation of motor clubs to run the organization of international motor sport.

Seven other clubs (Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and Russia) quickly joined the new alliance and in 1908 this organization (the forerunner to the FIA) issued the first international sporting calendar and regulations for Grand Prix cars and world speed records. While returning to Paris will return to the federation's roots, it will also retain offices in Geneva, London and Brussels.