Norris Mageanu

About motor sports in pandemic times, with Norris Măgeanu, President of the Romanian Sports Motoring Federation (FRAS)

Norris Măgeanu
I have no plans … not to make God laugh

➤ What did the March blockade mean for motor sports?
I believe that sport, athletes in the first place, is perhaps the category most affected by isolation measures. Because an athlete has an imposed training program, because an athlete who stops training or competitions has much more work to return to the previous shape. The lack of continuous training is extremely detrimental to sports performance. For a normal person, whether he works from the office or from home, it can be about the same. What about an athlete? How can you train at home?
Thus, first of all, the sport in general has been hit quite badly. Motorsport, in particular, has been all the more “hit” by the fact that the much larger budgets needed to practice motorsport have been cut. Which sponsor cared about the promotion in March?

FRAS

➤ How did FRAS keep the athletes in the “grip”?
First of all, we created a National Digital Championship right during the state of emergency. In short, under the slogan “we stay at home”, we created a competitive platform that supported the development of eight stages of the circuit on the simulators, from home. Anyone who had a steering wheel, crankshaft and computer at home could participate. It was, in fact, the first Romanian edition, a real success. We had over 170 athletes enrolled.
Then, after April, in May, I contacted the relevant authorities, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Health, to explain how our sport works and to create guidelines for measures to start outdoor competitions, with respect to coronavirus prevention.
On June 15, when the competitions were allowed to resume, I was among the first federations to have stages. By the way, now, when I remember, I can’t help but appreciate again the trust and effort of the member clubs that organized the first stages. I am also deeply grateful to my colleagues in the leadership of the federation, who gathered their ranks like a shield and walked along, bravely, forward.

➤ How are motor sports performed in the new normal?
The most important thing is that it takes place. No spectators, which is sad, but it’s an assumed absence. Otherwise, the athletes are performing, this year they broke a lot of records.

About motor sports in pandemic times, with Norris Măgeanu, President of the Romanian Sports Motoring Federation (FRAS)
norris mageanu fras

➤ What does the federation do to help athletes during this period?
First of all, we created the functional framework through which they can be as safe as possible from unnecessary interactions with officials, referees, other people. I went online with all the procedures for registration, verification and administration of competitions. Most of the competitions are broadcast live online or on the Sport Extra TV channel, in order to reach motorsport lovers who cannot be present.

➤ Are sponsors interested (again) in motor sports?
Although there was reluctance at the beginning, after the first competitions resumed, a large part returned with athletes, organizers, motorsport in general and I think everyone who did this was very pleased with the way they saw their involvement and presence among us. I think this year I have shown that motorsport is an effective “marketing vehicle” and I expect growth for next year.

Norris Măgeanu, President of the Romanian Sports Motoring Federation (FRAS)

➤ Do the championship stages have spectators now? Are they afraid they might get sick? What about the crews?
Stage spectators are still not allowed. From the data I have gathered in the almost 5 months since I resumed the championships, during which I have carried out almost 100 stages, I can say that motorsport does not represent a risk of spreading the virus. We have had a small number of cases in over one thousand five hundred licensed athletes and these have proven to be generated in contexts outside our competitions. Thus, for athletes, officials, referees, as long as it is limited to the strict conduct of the competition, the risk of illness is towards 0. By the fact that we are an individual sport and by the distance measures implemented, I believe that we are among the lucky ones who can still do what they like and what they know better, without complications.

➤ What are your plans? Personal and FRAS?
I have no plans … not to make God laugh.
I have visions, dreams, beliefs.
This year, especially in March, I really dedicated myself exclusively to the federation, personally and professionally, because I considered that in difficult times the world needs good, courageous leaders. On “my piece of the world”, for the leadership of which some people have given me confidence, I considered that I have to do everything I can to be good, in a difficult ocean.
And FRAS is a beautiful “little world” that has grown and continues to grow.

Thank you and good luck!