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Vatanen welcomes new support

FIA presidential candidate Ari Vatanen has welcomed declarations of support for his bid from the Ukranian Automobile Federation (FAU) and Middle Eastern bodies.

FAU president Yevhen Chervonenko has written to fellow organisations in eastern Europe and the former USSR to urge them to back Vatanen in his contest with Jean Todt.

"Establishment of the effective connection between auto sport and mobility, modern technologies transferring to millions of motorists, the support of clubs, efficient and democratic Federation administration, each club's participation in the decisions of FIA - this is the way we see the FIA's future, our clubs' future, the future of motoring," said the letter.

"This way is offered by Ari Vatanen. That is why I encourage you to support Ari Vatanen for the position FIA President, to make a step forward together, to the future."

Vatanen said Chervonenko's actions showed his campaign had a broad range of support.

"This latest act of support not only adds even more energy to our powerful momentum but underlines the widespread desire for a new direction across both the larger and smaller member clubs of the FIA" he said.

"It is particularly significant as the smaller clubs, given the structure of the FIA, form the foundation of the FIA family. They have their own particular issues they have to deal with and I feel that their interests should be protected in a very careful way."

Vatanen is currently a conference of Arab motoring organisations in Jordan, which is being hosted by HRH Prince Feisal al Hussein, Vatanen's nominated Vice-President (Sport) for the Middle East.

Mishaal Al Sudairy, Chairman of the Saudi Arabia Motor Federation, said Prince Feisal's role in the Vatanen campaign had boosted its standing in the Middle East.

"HRH Prince Feisal's support of Ari is a decisive factor to a majority of the Arab clubs supporting his candidature at the election," he said. "Ari is campaigning on a clear message for change within the FIA and HRH Prince Feisal has a track record of delivering on his promises."

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