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Local talent must be nurtured: Dr Mohammed bin Sulayem

posted on 04/09/2015: 1603 views

Former rally ace Dr Mohammed bin Suleyam said the future of motorsport in the region depended solely on how far local talent could be tapped and nurtured.

"Motor sport in the UAE has witnessed great development and expansion in a relatively short space of time and our responsibility is to maintain what has been achieved so far and ensure that this growth is sustainable.

"We have an exciting season ahead, with a busy calendar of prominent local and international motor sport events. The coming season of motor sport in UAE spotlights another big commitment to build for the future by attracting and developing young local talents," said Sulayem, chairman, Emirates Motor Sports Federation (EMSF) at a media announcement of the ruling body's calendar for 2015-16, on Wednesday at the EMSF office in Dubai.

Sulayem was joined at the Press conference by Khalid Issa Al Midfa, assistant secretary-general of the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare along with senior representatives.

The UAE Rotax Max Challenge, the National Karting Championship organised by Al Ain Raceway, takes off on September 25. The new season is characterised by the growing popularity of karting, expansion of the national Baja rally series, and a strong line-up of international circuit racing events.

For this year's 12-round National Karting Championship, run between Dubai Kartdrome, Al Ain Raceway, Al Forsan, Yas Marina Circuit and again crossing the border to Seeb in Oman, the ATCUAE has issued 110 competitor licences, an increase of 10 per cent on last year. The annual 'O' Plate held at the Dubai Kartdrome has also gone from strength to strength and has attracted many international drivers.

The Emirates Desert Championship, the new national Baja rally series launched in 2013 for cars, buggies, motor cycles and quads, has quickly become a major attraction, and the first out of six rounds will be run on October 9.

The UAE National Rally Championship, launched last year by the Emirates Motorsport Club (EMC), will run this year starting on October 2. The EMC Rally for conventional rally cars aims to continue last year's success and help drive the sport forward in the years ahead.

"This season's events are special events for myself, and for all those who have competed in them down the years, in addition, they are full of opportunities for the young talents in many different areas in the motor sport world," Sulayem said.

The F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix guarantees another spectacular November race weekend at Yas Marina Circuit, the main attraction on this occasion being supported by the GP2 and GP3 series.

Other prominent events include the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East; UAE Touring Car Championship; the UAE Radical Winter Cup; FG1000 single seaters; and the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in December supported by the Maserati Trofeo Championship, and the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai in January at the Dubai Autodrome which will be its 11th Edition.

Once again prominent on the calendar are the Dubai International Rally, the UAE's longest- running international sports fixture, and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the Middle East's first world championship motor sport event.

The 37th Dubai Rally brings the 2015 FIA Middle East Championship to a climax on 19-21 November while the Desert Challenge will be run from the 2nd to the 7th of April as part of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.

Added to the Emirates Desert Championship and the big international stage are the Desert Challenge and the Sportsbike Championship at the Dubai Autodrome with 600 cc and rookies classes, as well as the popular National Motocross series. – Khaleej Times -


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