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FAU enlisting racers to help Ukrainian military in emergency driving

2 Mins read
Credit: Press Service of the Regional State Administration of Cherkasy

With national motorsport championships still unable to be safely held as the Russian invasion continues, the Automobile Federation of Ukraine will still pitch the support of its personnel and racers for the military. In particular, drivers will now be encouraged to lead safe driving courses for members of the Ukrainian military, teaching them how to drive effectively in times of emergency such as combat and medevacking.

On 10 February, the FAU’s constitution enshrined a new clause approved a week prior that allows the association to “promote the defence capability of the state, ensure the sustainable development of motorsport, strengthen the safety and quality of motorsport competitions, and development of mass motorsport disciplines under martial law.” This further synchronises the federation’s wartime activities, which have included events like a seminar in November with the 112th Territorial Defence Brigade to teach first aid and safety around land mines, the creation of the FAU Solidarity Fund on Christmas to allocate part of the annual budget to racers serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and partnering with its counterpart in Spain to invite wounded Ukrainian soldiers to compete in the Rallye TT Cuenca.

As part of the new policy, the FAU reorganised the Commission for Emergency Training of Drivers into the Commission for Safe Driving and Emergency Training (КБВКП FAU). Serhii Budnyk, the FAU’s Vice President of Road Safety, will serve as its Chairman. The commission’s primary goal is to “establish systemic interaction” with the AFU, the most notable method being to organise driving lessons guided by interested racing drivers and others in the motorsport industry for troops.

While anyone can qualify, the FAU wants to find those with impressive racing résumés such as champions in domestic series, especially in rally as driving on the frontline is typically off-road, or with prior military experience. Mechanics and officials are also encouraged to take part.

The FAU first experimented with the idea in January, partnering with the Pilot Safe Driving Center and the regional military administrations of Cherkasy and Poltava Oblasts. Each course consisted of four to six lessons that focused on teaching soldiers how to navigate through winter environments without getting into accidents. Members of the Territorial Defence Forces, National Guard, and State Emergency Service were in attendance.

“It is clear that for victory, we need high quality weapons and equipment, but another component is quality training,” said Cherkasy Oblast governor Ihor Taburets. “This applies to absolutely everything. We regularly send vehicles from the region to our defenders to the frontline. Every second there is important for saving lives, for timely evacuation, for successfully completing tasks. This project is about honing the skills necessary for drivers.”

Saturday marks two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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