David Ward confirmed on Thursday that he has decided to challenge Jean Todt for the presidency of global motorsport governing body the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile).
The 56-year-old Briton has resigned from his post as director general of the FIA Foundation after 12 years in order to stand against Todt in the 2-6 December election in Paris.
"After much careful thought I have decided to stand as a candidate in the 2013 FIA presidential election," Ward said in a statement.
"The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations. In these circumstances, I think the correct course of action is to resign.
"Election processes inevitably involve robust and lively debate, and whilst the Foundation is independent and there is no legal requirement for me to resign, I believe it is in the best interests of the charity I stand down now."
Ward is well connected within the FIA as he previously worked as an aide to former president Max Mosley.
He is also the executive secretary of the independent Commission for Global Road Safety; a member of the Executive Board of the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility; and represents the FIA Foundation in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and is co-chair of its Vehicle Safety Project Group.