A traditional noon cannon shot in honour of the FIA General Assembly opening and the 120th anniversary of Russian motor sport was made in the Peter and Paul Fortress on 4 December at 12:00. The honour to fire the shot was granted to the President of the International Automobile Federation Jean Todt and the President of the Russian Automobile Federation Viktor Kiryanov. The midday cannon shot is not only the trademark of St Petersburg, but also a tribute to outstanding people.
2018 is the anniversary year for Russian motor sport. The first motor race took place in St Petersburg in October 1898. Five years later, the Imperial Automobile Society opened in Russias northern capital. The Russian Automobile Federation (member of the FIA) was established on 30 November 1991. Since 2005, the Federation is headed by Viktor Kiryanov, Colonel-General of Police, member of the FIA Commission for Road Safety, member of the FIA World Council for Sport, winner of numerous international awards and Honoured Employee of the Russian Federations transport.
Viktor Kiryanov, President of RAF, says: «It is a great responsibility to fire the noon cannon shot at the Peter and Paul Fortress in honour of the world motor racing champions in St Petersburg! Jean and I, we are old friends, but this was very exciting! Thanks to the city for such an opportunity!»
Jean Todt has been President of the International Automobile Federation since 2009. He was awarded numerous titles and international accolades for his work, including Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and Chevalier of the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation.
The St Petersburg tradition of celebrating midday with an artillery shot has existed since 1703, when the cannon announced termination of work. The shot was fired in Sevastopol, Vladivostok, Mykolaiv and St Petersburg. Since the autumn of 1872, shots have been fired from the Naryshkin bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress, where both presidents of automobile federations successfully fired a cannon at exactly 12:00.
The FIA General Assembly is held with the consulting support of the Roscongress Foundation.