Ward takes fight to Todt
David Ward has launched his first offensive in a bid to win the FIA presidency from Jean Todt.
Ward last week resigned as director general of the FIA Foundation after 12 years and is to stand against Todt in an election due to take place in early December.
Todt, however, has yet to confirm whether he will put himself up for re-election for a second four-year term, with the former Ferrari team principal having until late October to decide.
And there is a growing body of suspicion that Todt will opt not to run, as the weight of opposition against him is beginning to grow.
In a letter to the presidents of all the FIA member clubs and in his manifesto, entitled 'Agenda for Change', Ward highlights some of the inadequacies under Todt's leadership.
Ward, an advisor to former president Max Mosley and who by his own admission "played a key role" in Todt's 2009 election, is seeking "further governance reform".
It is in the manifesto where Ward delivers his strongest views as he is seeking 20 reforms.
Ward acknowledges Todt has made "useful progress" with regard to a comprehensive review of the FIA statutes and structure that were proposed in his own manifesto of 2009.
The 57-year-old, however, claims that overall the review "has fallen short", and that "there is still work to be done".
Ward states "the FIA can give the impression of being antiquated and autocratic. The powers of the presidency are too wide to be effective or fully accountable".
Highlighting examples, Ward added: "The maximum possible period in office for the president has been extended from eight years to 12.
"The threshold for nominations for presidential candidates has been set high, which favours the incumbent and deters other candidates.
"Recently there has also been unfortunate use of 'support letters' at various FIA regional meetings which are designed to elicit public commitments of support before the election process even opens, thereby deterring alternative candidates from coming forward.
"These are of questionable legitimacy."
It is a clear attack on Todt's term in office, with another of the proposals being to, "at a time of austerity, aim to reduce overheads, avoid waste, and reduce travel expenditure".
Todt has achieved renown for his use of a private jet to carry him around the world for his various meetings with club presidents.
Furthermore, Ward is seeking to "adopt a policy against bribery and corruption to the latest international standards and amend the ethics code accordingly".
In his letter, Ward expresses his passionate belief that "the FIA has an important role to play as the defender of motorists and motor sport participants and as the guardian of safe and fair competition on road and track".
He adds: "All I would ask is for a fair hearing for the governance reforms I believe are necessary to strengthen the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the FIA so that it can better serve the interests of its membership."
Initially, Ward requires 26 nominations from member clubs, which does not obligate the nominee to then vote for him in an election.