ETRA Director Georg Fuchs recalls his appearance at the prestigious Black Book forum in London recently....
The European Truck Racing Association (ETRA), the organiser and promoter of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship took part in the well-known Black Book Motorsport Forum in London last month.
Expanding its Business-to-Business [B2B] brand profile at the prestigious event, ETRA, represented by one of its directors, Georg Fuchs, took part as a forum speaker during the interviews and discussions in front of a packed audience of key motorsport decision-makers.
A premier event on the motorsport calendar, the Black Book Motorsport Forum sees teams, promoters, automotive manufacturers, sponsor brands and key service providers from across global motorsports all under one roof discussing the future of the industry.
We downloaded Georg after he spoke at the event.
Q&A with Georg Fuchs of ETRA......
What was the overall atmosphere of the forum and the quality of delegates in attendance?
GF: It was of a very high standard and reinforced our desire to have the FIA ETRC and ETRA represented.
This was much more than a networking event and it had a very progressive and diverse collection of people from all areas of the motorsport industry.
Well-known industry insiders and personalities were there, from major manufacturers through to title sponsors of series’ so it was a must-attend event for us.
To be asked to be part of the forum panel was an honour and one which saw us expand our outreach in awareness to many other championships and commercial entities.
70% of those in attendance were director level or above and it was a fruitful experience to make so many new contacts which we believe will be useful to us in the future.
During your forum appearance what were the key messages you communicated to the guests?
It was a very informative forum and one which saw me answer a variety of questions.
Initially it was a case of getting the audience to understand what the FIA ETRC was and where it fitted in to the motorsport landscape.
I certainly got a sense that many people were surprised just how popular the FIA ETRC was and that our numbers of fans and the engagement data we have achieved in our media reach impressed many.
It was important to articulate that we don’t see ourselves as in competition with any other series in particular and that our three key pillars of Sport, Industry and Entertainment are vital to the platform that our events have built over the last two decades.
We have really pushed communication in many areas over the last two and a half seasons.
Was there a discussion about the future of motorsport and in particular where the FIA ETRC may be heading?
GF: Yes, this was a particularly interesting part of the forum.
Obviously everyone is looking to the future and trying to plan for tomorrow, this is the nature of any business but in motorsport it is particularly relevant.
We have to get across the message that we are progressive and active in ensuring there is minimum disruption to the environment and the surroundings when we go racing. We must show how proactively we are pushing for digital approaches such as gaming and/or eSports.
We have a very strict and proficient FIA technical team which monitors this and it was important to communicate that we have a clear ‘one-strike and out’ policy when it comes to black smoke.
We have to be completely focused on this and I think people come away from FIA ETRC races now and often comment on the fact that it looks so much cleaner than it used to. This is something we will keep pushing on.
We are already having a solid digital footprint at the moment. We are strong in our Social Media channels and will further enhance this presence with something new next year – it will be big news I am sure.
Next to that, we also must concentrate on the needs of our industry - the trucking and transportation sectors – and to be able to continuously deliver an added value for their requirements and stay aligned with their strategy and business direction.
So the current lack of professional truck drivers is a big topic these days for which the FIA ETRC is able to provide good future solutions.
What do you think the benefits were on being able to showcase the FIA ETRC at the event?
There were several, but the most important was just getting some solid exposure to the industry and so many important people in one hit.
The achievements, not only for ETRA and the FIA ETRC, but also to each and every member of the close-knit paddock, was that we were on the same bill as F1, Indycar, NASCAR, Formula E and FIA WEC. We had a voice and that is vital because we want to attract more commercial partners and innovative technical companies to the championship.
We firmly believe that the return-on-investment for companies and manufacturers will only grow. This is the focus we have this year and it will continue for years to come as we all know what a great show our teams, drivers, partners and fans are part of during each and every season.
And, there was a visual representation of the FIA ETRC there with Shane Brereton’s TOR truck on display?
Yes, it was great to have Shane and the TOR truck, which was on prominent display right at the entrance to the venue, with us.
A lot of people were commenting on the truck and how well prepared it was.
It was a great opportunity too for Shane and his team to be part of the Black Books forum and understand that we are out there away from races banging the drum about the FIA ETRC.Big thanks to Shane for driving up from Somerset and letting a lot of influential people get their first glimpse of a thoroughbred race race winning FIA ETRC contender.