10 Jul 09
Former World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen has announced he will stand for President of motor sport's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) later this year.
Vatanen, 57, won the 1981 WRC drivers' title in a Ford Escort RS 1800 co-driven by Prodrive founder David Richards. The Finn has been a member of the European Parliament from 1999 until earlier this year.
"Responding to requests from many FIA member clubs, I shall stand for presidential elections of the FIA in October this year", Vatanen said in a statement.
"I think the time has come for a change. My main focus is to reconcile views within the FIA and bring transparency to its stakeholders. The duty of President is to defend billion automobilists and the great sport of ours," he added.
Vatanen's decision to stand could pit him against current president Max Mosley. The Briton had intended to step down from the position this year but is believed to be considering running for a fifth term in office.