By Andy Sambidge
Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE inks deal to train senior officials ahead of 2014 race
The UAE is set to play a key role in guiding Russia into the multi-billion dollar arena of Formula One racing.
The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with its counterpart in Moscow to train and prepare senior officials and volunteers for the inaugural F1 Grand Prix of Russia in 2014.
The live, on-the-job training will be delivered during the high pressure staging of this year's F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
The two national motorsport authorities will also work together to develop new road safety initiatives, a statement said.
ATCUAE president Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: "We are very happy to be able to offer our experience and specialised training methods to help prepare our counterparts in Russia for their entry into Formula One racing.
"This is a proud moment for the Club, and for the UAE as a whole, and it highlights the great progress we have made in establishing the Emirates as a strong force in motor sport, and positioning Abu Dhabi as a top F1 venue.
"The UAE Government has made this all possible through a major investment in the motor sport infrastructure we have today."
Lieutenant General Victor Kiryanov, president of the Russian Automobile Federation, added: "We are building the Formula One track at a rapid speed and it will be completed in time.
"We are very pleased that our colleagues from the UAE are helping us to gain more knowledge so that we are well prepared for Formula One. It is with great pleasure that we have signed the MOU."
The ATCUAE, in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Motor Sport Management, said it is creating a facility for the training of around 40 senior Russian officials and marshals.
The training will be conducted by a team of specialists from the Club's training and education division, the Motorsport Knowledge Institute (MKI).
The MKI, which was established by Sulayem earlier this year, aims is to deliver FIA training for event organisation, with an emphasis on safety for officials, competitors and spectators, and its services are now in demand worldwide.
Recently, MKI teams have been in Africa to conduct training programmes for officials of the national motor sport authorities of Sudan and Tanzania.
The ATCUE has also begun training programmes in South America to assist with the continued development of the motor sport infrastructures in Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.