The latest meeting of the FIA Drifting Working Group was held in Paris on February 6th, 2017. I was invited to present the results of the Judges Working Group meeting that I spoke about HERE, and to get a consensus from the group on how to proceed with some key issues that were raised during that meeting. As for the Drifting Working Group meeting, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the specifics of the meeting are confidential, but I don’t want to delve too deeply at the moment. In general terms, a few subjects including standardizing technical regulations, safety regulations and of course the results of the aforementioned Judging Working Group meeting from this past December were discussed.
In my previous article I introduced you to Morgan Caron, FIA’s Head of Transverse Motorsports. This time, I asked him a few questions regarding the delay in the announcement of the planned FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup, since it’s something we’re all anxiously awaiting.
Ryan: Can you explain why the FIA has delayed the announcement regarding the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup?
Morgan: The main reason the decision has been held up is the FIA legal department has a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting and verifying all of the applicants’ proposals. Once the legal department receives a proposal, they must verify every aspect of it, starting with the applicant’s financial stability & history. Then they look at the proposed location and their ability to host an event of this magnitude, are there any partners involved and what is their financial situation and history like? Does the partner know they are mentioned in this proposal and have they considered the implications of being involved?
During this process, the FIA legal department may require more information about a certain part of the proposal, at which time a request is made to the applicant. Once a request is made, they must then wait for a reply. Once a reply is received, that information must also be verified, and as you can imagine, sometimes multiple requests have to be made to the same applicant for different parts of the proposal as those questions come up. Now multiply that process by the amount of proposals received, and you will have an idea of the magnitude of information that must be processed.
Adding to the legal team’s work load was the sale of Formula1 in January (more information HERE), which required a special meeting of the World Sporting Council to finalize. A lot of resources were dedicated to that meeting and the subsequent sale, further slowing the process for the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup.
Ryan: Can you confirm how many proposals you received, and who the applicants were?
Morgan: No, I can’t comment on that.
I then proposed asking the members of the Drifting Working Group myself if they had submitted a proposal. Morgan agreed that if they volunteered the information themselves, there wouldn’t be a problem with me writing about it in this article. So off I went to question some members of the group.
I don’t think it was a secret that Formula Drift had submitted a proposal to the FIA to host the Drifting Intercontinental Cup, but Jim Liaw made it official by confirming for this article that they have indeed done so. Another Drifting Working Group member in attendance was Niall Gunn, owner and organizer of Drift AllStars. He also confirmed that he has submitted a proposal to host the Drifting Intercontinental Cup.
The final person I spoke to was Mr. Saita, Vice President of D1GP. I asked Mr. Saita’s translator if she could help me for a few minutes, as my Japanese is practically nonexistent (save for a few silly pleasantries that make Japanese people laugh when I make any sort of attempt) and though he speaks and understands English, he prefers a translator so nothing is lost in the conversation.
Saita-San confirmed that D1 has sent in a proposal, and gave me permission to say so in this article. He couldn’t comment further as he doesn’t know any more than I do about the selection process or the outcome, but he seemed very proud to be a part of the group and we started discussing judging as it pertains to both D1 and Formula Drift.
The rest of the attendees that day stated that they have not sent in a proposal, so I am left with those 3 for now. As it stands, the previously delayed announcement is now planned for March 9th, 2017. Hopefully the legal team can work through all of the information by then so we can all have an answer. I don’t know about you, but the suspense has been building for me and I can’t wait to find out who will be hosting the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup!