The 46-year-old Mozambique national has long had a strong interest in all sports, eventually becoming President of the Mozambican Triathlon Governing Institution. Rodrigo Rocha then moved onto his other great passion, motorsport, becoming President of the Board of Directors of ATCM (Automóvel & Touring Clube de Moçambique), that country’s ACN. In this role he grew the number of motorsport events, such as karting, touring cars, drifting, drag-racing and mono-series championships.
During his mandate as President of ATCM initiated in 2019, the Club trained more that 180 marshals, 10 race- directors, five motorsport doctors as well as intervention and extrication teams. Rodrigo Rocha also supported the development of other disciplines, such as kart-cross, which is currently being designed under a new concept based on FIA specifications. Under Rodrigo´s management, the Club reintroduced Circuit Racing, with the Tourism Car Racing Series (modified Group and the popular Mono-Series PicantoCup and which grids have more than 32 drivers), as well as establishing new record grids in Karting. Currently the project that is being undertaken is the establishment of a new Karting Academy, which aims to focus on a massification of this grassroots discipline.
This year Rodrigo Rocha was elected on the CIK-FIA Committee, the only member from Africa.
Rodrigo Rocha said: “In agreeing to stand as VP Sport for Africa, I intend to bring the passion I have for motorsport in a developing continent to the FIA. My goal is to establish sustainable and affordable motorsport opportunities across Africa, which is full of young, vibrant and talented young men and women. They need to be given the opportunity to compete, but also to learn all there is around motor racing, from marketing to engineering. The FIA University will provide an excellent opportunity to kickstart and sustain this ongoing project.”
Allied to his sporting and motorsport duties, Rodrigo Rocha is partner in a legal firm which specialises in mergers and acquisitions, as well as the law as it applies to energy, oil & gas, mining, banking, tax and project finance.
Throughout his career Rodrigo has kept in touch with several jurisdictions, in particular Portugal, Mozambique, Angola, Cabo Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe. This has helped him assist major companies in their negotiations with the Mozambican Government and other public entities in the establishment of joint ventures and concessions.
Rodrigo Rocha added: “My 20-year experience in advising governments and private companies on the development and financing of large scale energy and infrastructure projects worldwide, but especially in Africa, has given me a unique insight into the opportunities this continent can offer to its people in terms of development, logistics and infrastructure. I intend using these insights, and those provided by the Diversity and Inclusion Report, in creating a future-focused sporting strategy which will benefit both the FIA as well as the Africa-based clubs.”
Presidential candidate Mohammed ben Sulayem said: “Africa accounts for almost 17% of the world’s population. Some of the member clubs have a long heritage, being affiliated to the FIA from the start of the last century. While the South African GP can trace its roots back to 1934, the continent of Africa has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 1993. Rallying has been the sport’s main platform in the region, with the Safari Rally dating back to 1953 and the African Rally Championship running since 1981. With Rodrigo Rocha’s help we will make sure that Africa has home-grown motorsport events, from grassroots to elite, and that with the help of the FIA, we can develop a self-sustaining economic model for the whole region.”
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