The Canadian Association of Rallysport, known as CARS, is the official sanctioning body for the sport of rally as recognized by ASN Canada FIA and the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA). As such, CARS is the sole body responsible for making all decisions concerning the organization, direction and management of Rally Sport in Canada.
CARS is an association of auto sport clubs from Newfoundland to British Columbia and is run by a Board made up of the President and five directors elected by the member clubs of each region (Atlantic, Québec, Ontario, Prairie West and British Columbia). The five directors nominate and appoint the President and several specialized personnel who assist in the running of particular aspects of the sport on a national basis. The CARS office is in Turner Valley, Alberta.
CARS is a relatively new organization being incorporated in 1991 after the break up of the previous national automobile sporting body. CARS runs the only national motorsport championship series in Canada: the Canadian Rally Championship. For the first seven years, five events of the Canadian Rally Championship were filmed for TSN and RDS. 1999 through 2004, all events have been filmed and use was also made of video news releases (VNRs) in 1999 and 2000. As well, CARS carries out much of its operations in both English and French.
Our member clubs organize rally events in four different branches of the sport (navigational rallies, rally cross, rally sprint, and performance rallies) at club, regional and national levels. Navigational rallies are run on public roads and are known as time, speed, distance events or TSDs. These events are organized within the various provincial highway traffic acts and are closely monitored for compliance with both CARS regulations and provincial laws. Rally Cross, Rally Sprints and Performance Rallies are run on closed roads and performance is based on speed.
CARS was set up with a very national vision as its basis. Those who helped set up the organization felt the strong sentiments of the time to put into place a series of checks and balances so that regional interests would be secondary to those of a national vision that would keep the sport of rally united and strong. With five regions which have only one vote each instead of a number of votes proportional to such things as the number of events, member clubs or licence holders; at least three regions are needed to adopt a proposal. With proportional voting, one region, or maybe two, could control our sport nationally, which goes against the vision of rallying in Canada.
The 5 directors were each to be elected by the member clubs within a region to serve as a director of CARS Board with a mandate to direct the sport as a whole. The initial CARS board established the concept that regional affaires were best handled by the director elected from that region and from this concept developed variously structured sub organizations that make up the five CARS regions.