Yas Marina to host FIA driver academy qualifier race

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit will host Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia regional qualifying event for the 2015 FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.

The event, which develops young talent and promotes safety in motor sport, was awarded to the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE following a bidding process involving 23 national motor sport authorities in the region.

It’s the second year in a row that the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi will stage the qualifier event, which takes place from 28 September to 1 October.

This year’s qualifying events cover six regions of the world, with the others being staged in Holland (North Eastern Europe), Croatia (South Western Europe), South Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), Mexico (Americas) and China and Australia jointly (Asia-Pacific).

“We’re very happy to be one of the six world hosts for what has proved to be a very successful initiative to develop young driving talent, as well as safety in motor sport,” said ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“This underlines the expertise and world-class facilities that we have available in the UAE, and we look forward to extending our partnership with the FIA Institute.”

The qualifying events have been increased from five last year to give more young drivers the chance to gain a place at the Academy. The winner of each gains automatic selection to the 2015 Academy. Four more drivers will be selected using a wildcard system to form the final class of ten Academy participants.

Previous graduates include Formula One reserve drivers Alexander Rossi, Stoffel Vandoorne, and Robin Frijns, and World Rally Championship drivers Andreas Mikkelsen, Pontus Tidemand and Craig Breen.

The ATCUAE hopes each of the other 22 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia zone, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, will nominate one driver to take part in the selection event in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Bamogaddam earned a place in the Academy from last year’s regional qualifying event at Yas Marina Circuit which featured drivers from 15 countries.

Meanwhile, Dubai Autodrome has announced race dates for the forthcoming 2014-2015 motor racing season, with six race days for UAE national racing featuring the prestigious Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and also confirming the early January dates for the tenth edition of the 24 Hours of Dubai which this year is backed by Hankook.

Full details available here.

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