New MSA Chairman, David Richards CBE, outlined his vision for the future of UK motorsport during the Motorsport Safety Fund Watkins Lecture at Autosport International today (12 January).
During a wide-ranging speech to an audience of 500 members of the motor sport community, Richards reflected on both the challenges and opportunities facing the sport over the next five years.
“I see my new role as providing clear and decisive leadership, against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting landscape, with a singular objective: to create a sustainable future for motorsport in the UK,” Richards said.
“First, we need to identify the threats and risks to UK motorsport, then establish plans to mitigate them. Second, we need to chart a safe passage through the broader external challenges UK motorsport faces, whether they be political, economic or social, as well as the legal environment in which it must operate. Third, we must safeguard and improve the financial landscape of the MSA – for without the right financial resources we can neither promote UK motorsport effectively nor invest in its future.”
Richards explained that an immediate task is to aggregate insight from across the many UK motorsport disciplines. That research will encompass competitors, regulators, legislators and volunteer officials from across the spectrum, as well as the motorsport media. “I am very confident that the feedback we receive will help shape the future direction of the MSA and create a forward-looking plan that we can all embrace,” he said.
Richards said that this plan will cover areas ranging from participation, diversity and cost to promotion, commercial outlook and e-sports. He also placed an emphasis on volunteers, whom he described as, “the very life blood of motorsport.”