Jean Todt

currently leads the . (Photo: Getty Images)

The battle for the FIA presidency took another twist today when FIA’s recently appointed Director of Communications Pierre Regent resigned to focus on Jean Todt’s re-election campaign.

Regent was given the FIA job by Todt only at the start of June, replacing Norman Howell, who went to work for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Regent was previously the FIA’s International Relations Advisor and Action for Road Safety Project Manager.

Under FIA statutes staff members are not allowed to participate in the election campaign of a specific candidate.

Todt’s rival David Ward recently wrote to the FIA in order to clarify that this was the case, saying: “I note also that the Election Guidelines requires the FIA Administration to maintain ‘a strict duty of neutrality and equality at all times’ and that they should limit ‘their relations with the candidates strictly to the content of their mission.’”

“I was doing my duty as director of communications until the end of mobility conference week last week, and as of this week, I am working on the campaign,” Regent said.

He denied that the move was in response to Ward’s letter, “It was planned well before that because we always knew that we needed to have a different campaign team.”

Regent formerly worked closely with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as press and communications advisor.