UAE wins key role in new drive to find Motor Sports Future World Champions

UAE wins key role in new drive to find Motor Sports Future World Champions

18.06.2013: ATCUAE picked to host selection event for revamped FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy

ATCUAE picked to host selection event for revamped FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy



photo caption: Emirati Mohammed Al Mutawaa was the first Arab accepted into the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy in 2011-12. He has since become part of the new Abu Dhabi Racing team in the Middle East Rally Championship.



The UAE is to play a key role in a new global motor sport initiative to identify some of the world’s top young driving talent and turn them into future world champions.


One of five regional selection events held to deliver eight of the best young drivers in the world into the revamped FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy will be staged in the UAE from 22-25 September.


Up to 26 national motor sport authorities from across the Middle East and North Africa and beyond will each send a nominated driver to the UAE. The best drivers from the UAE event, and the others being held for Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, will enter the full Academy programme along with three wild card selections.


The programme aims to find and develop the next generation of world motorsport champions. It will feature training events at locations across Europe over the following season.


The UAE was chosen to stage the MENA event on the basis of its achievements as one of only five Regional Training Providers on behalf the FIA, motor sport’s governing body. For geographical and logistical reasons, the MENA selection event has been expanded to 26 nations and will also include Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.


“This is a very important step in the development of the world’s best young driving talent,” said Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE. “We’re proud to have been chosen to play our part in identifying the cream of the world’s best young driving talent, and creating the champions of the future.”


The original format of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy allowed for the training of around 30 drivers in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, with about half of these taking part in the full academy programme.


The format was revised based on recommendations from the MENA assembly of motor sport authorities in Doha in February. “This new structure will see a much greater uptake than before, particularly from developing countries,” said Sulayem, the FIA Vice President. The ATCUAE will shortly announce its own candidate for the regional selection event, and confirm the venue.



photo caption: Participants of the 2011-12 FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. In September 2013, the UAE will host a MENA regional qualifying event for the next edition of the prestigious academy.


Already, the Academy has sent an alumnus of drivers on their way to the top.  The 2011 Academy graduate, Alexander Rossi, recently scored his first podium in GP2 for the Caterham team, and the American has also become one of the reserve drivers for the F1 team. Craig Breen, a 2012 Academy graduate, used skills learnt from the programme to win the 2012 WRC Academy Cup, and the young Irish rally star is currently lying second in the 2013 European Rally Championship.


The UAE’s Mohammed Al Mutawaa, who became the first Arab driver to be admitted into the Academy in 2012, has since become part of the new Abu Dhabi Racing team in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship. He said: “The training and exposure that the Academy gave me has not only made me a faster driver while competing, but has helped me mature as a person. I’ll always be grateful to the ATCUAE for nominating and sponsoring me.”


All drivers nominated for the Academy programme must meet certain criteria based on age, experience, ambitions and language skills. The Academy curriculum is led by former Formula One driver and two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans champion, Alex Wurz, along with 2001 World Rally Champion co-driver Robert Reid.


- Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/uae-key-role-new-drive-find-motor-sports-future-world-champions-atcuae---112485.html

18.06.2013 / MaP

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