13-Dieter_-_FIA.jpgNatal-born Dieter Rencken has been appointed Motorsport Adviser to FIA President Ben Sulayem, dispensing guidance across all categories with a focus on Formula 1.

Motorsport is not Rencken’s only motoring passion: He has owned numerous classic vehicles over the years, including NSU Ro80s, Porsche 914s and a 1953 Francis Barnett motorcycle, and held a half-share in a NSU Wankel Spyder. His current stable comprises an Audi TTS, 1977 NSU Ro80, ex-Canada 1995 Mazda MX5 Miata and 1984 BMW K100RT - although for European travel to motorsport events he prefers the effortless gait of his electric KIA EV6.

He began his career with Toyota SA in Durban as an industrial engineering trainee, combining work experience and study at the Natal Technicon. Simultaneously he competed in provincial and national rally championships, winning the 1974 1000 Hills Rally.

Rencken’s career took him to Pretoria, where he moved up the ranks at Sigma Motor Corporation to Area Manager for Parts and Accessories, then to Nissan SA as Parts & Accessories National Sales Manager. An expatriate contract with Lonrho Motors Holdings in Malawi followed before he moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a career in F1 journalism.

“It was a crazy dream, but once in London I had no choice but to make a go of it,” he says.

Rencken gained full FIA media accreditation in 2000 and joined the FIA Media Council in 2014. He has reported on almost 400 grands prix and categories such as Le Mans, World Rally, WRX and MotoGP, specialising in motorsport technologies, politics, and economics.

In 2021 he received the Genesis Award for Automotive Technology Journalism from the British Guild of Motoring Writers.

During the recent Miami Grand Prix Ben Sulayem offered him the role of FIA Motorsport Advisor and Rencken capped his pen after the Monaco Grand Prix.

“I felt incredibly sad when I wrote my last words as a journalist, but massive new challenges beckon. The President has exciting plans, and I could not refuse his invitation to play a guiding role in motorsport’s bright future,” says Rencken.

Rencken is not the only South African in high places: Motorsport South Africa President Anton Roux sits on the FIA Senate, which oversees the governing body’s statutes.