Mohammed Ben Sulayem elected VP on FIA council

Mohammed Ben Sulayem with FIA President Max Mosley

Mohammed Ben Sulayem has become the first Arab to earn a place on the most powerful body in world motor sport.

Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and a rallying legend in the Middle East, has been elected to the FIA World Motor Sport Council and named as Vice President of the FIA for Sport by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.

His double appointment was confirmed yesterday by FIA President Max Mosley during the FIA General Assembly in Paris.

It underlines Sulayem's status as the leading motor sport figure in the Middle East, and recognizes the influential role he has played in bringing world championship motor sport to the region.

Sulayem said: "I'm honored and very happy to have been elected to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. I'm looking forward to playing my part in shaping the future of motor sport, and there are some exciting, and challenging, times ahead." The World Motor Sport Council meets at least four times a year to decide on rules, regulations, safety and development of motor sport at every level, from karting to Formula One. Headed by the FIA President, its membership is chosen by the FIA General Assembly, which contains representatives from national automobile clubs throughout the world.

In a remarkable rallying career, Sulayem won 14 FIA Middle East Rally Championship titles and more than 60 international rallies. In 1991, he launched the UAE Desert Challenge, and quickly established it as the Middle East's first World Championship motor sport event.

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