Former FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre dies 

Written by David on March 29th, 2008 at 10:43 amLast Update: March 29th, 2008 at 11:42 am

Jean-Marie BalestreJust two weeks before his 87th birthday, former FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre, has passed away. The Frenchman was, from 1978-1991, a powerful and controversial head of the International Federation of Automobile Sports (FISA) and its successor, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) . Nicolas Deschaux, French motorsport federation (FFSA) president, said: “It’s a huge loss for motorsport and he’ll be remembered notably for his actions in favour of driver safety. He was a great president in periods of grave crisis for motorsport.”

Current FIA president Max Mosley said: “It’s with immense sadness that we have learnt of the death of Jean-Marie Balestre. His contribution to motorsport in France and in the world was unique. All those involved in our sport will miss him greatly and will join with me in extending our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Amongst Balestre’s improvements was the introduction of crash test requirements for cars as well as the use of naturally aspirated engines.

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