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MARCH 21, 2007

Jacques Regis quits

Jacques Regis, the president of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA), has resigned from his position with immediate effect. Regis has been the man who has been fighting to save the French Grand Prix in recent years but before that was a leading critic of FIA President Max Mosley's policies in 2004. When Mosley resigned that year Regis was seen as a possible replacement but he failed to advantage of the situation and Mosley returned stronger than ever. Regis saw the writing on the wall and made peace with Mosley and was given a special FIA role to try to sort out the World Rally Championship, and "presidential power" to fix the problem. That was a poisoned chalice but Regis at least tried. A leading FIA politician since he replaced Jean-Marie Balestre in 1996, Regis will also be remembered as one of the three stewards at Jerez in 1997 who declared that the Michael Schumacher-Jacques Villeneuve collision was "a racing incident". The outcry was such that the decision was later overturned by the FIA in an effort to avoid criticism.

Regis says the decision is a personal one. He has been based for some time in Mauritius and it seems that he has decided that the time is right to quit.

The decision may also have something to do with the French GP as Bernie Ecclestone is now openly suggesting that the French GP must move.

The role of president will fall to the FFSA treasurer Jean-Claude Cresp for the next few months before the next FFSA general assembly in the summer.