OCTOBER 2, 2003
Richards having trouble in the rally world
British American Racing boss David Richards is having trouble in the World Rally Championship as it looks like he is going to lose his voting rights on the FIA Rally Commission. Richards and the FIA have failed to reach agreement after months of negotiation over changes for next year but also over the terms of the 100-year commercial agreement which Richards announced last summer that an agreement had been reached "in principle" for his International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC) to lease the commercial rights to the FIA World Rally Championship for a 100-year period for $98m. It seems that this deal may now have fallen out of bed.
We have seen an FIA document which proposes reducing the FIA's World Rally Championship Commission from 13 voting members to six: with this consisting of the manufacturers which finished first and last in the championship; two promoters (one from Europe and one from outside), plus two FIA officials. The new commission will also feature two non-voting members: a representative of the commercial rights holder and another FIA official. The proposal will go before the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on October 15.
The FIA is justifying the need for a change because it says that at the moment either the manufacturers or the promoters can veto over all decisions of the commission.
If the change goes ahead voting will be decided by a simple majority and the chairman will have a casting vote.
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