Sat 11 Feb 2023

Rally Sweden parts lasting impression on FIA CEO Natalie Robyn

Recently appointed FIA CEO Natalie Robyn travelled to Rally Sweden for her first World Rally Championship experience. She left the second round impressed by what she had seen.

Robyn moved into the newly formed role last year having already worked in the automotive industry for 20 years. With an emphasis on first impressions, Rally Sweden left a lasting one on Robyn.

“I really had no expectations as I had not been to a WRC event before,” enthused the American. “Just arriving here is magnificent in the winter conditions, which is not necessarily the norm.

“The organisers, the volunteers, the ASN – the effort put in here is magnificent. There are so many spectators and you see representation from all over the world.

“I have been in the automotive world for 20 years but an arm’s length from the motorsport world.

“This is much more exciting than commercial passenger vehicles and being in a place like this in these conditions – you get to see the dynamism and the adventure, so it is perfect.”

During her time in Umeå, Robyn had the chance to experience a passenger ride in an M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3, as well as riding alongside Michele Mouton in the FIA Safety Delegate car - picking the WRC rally winner's brains on a number of topics including women in motorsport and safety.

Having now been in the role for three months, Robyn has begun to outline her immediate goals.

“We want to modernise [the FIA] – I am coming from organisations that have done big transformations, just even in the last ten years, going very digital…new technology coming in and we have to keep up with the times and look at that.

“We have to have the right structure, we have to have the right people, we have to be modern and we have to be one step ahead.”

FIA CEO Natalie Robyn gets her first WRC experience
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