Abu Dhabi offers chance for young Saudi driver
DUBAI — One of Saudi Arabia’s top young talents could earn a chance to build a career in motor sport by becoming the second successive competitor from the Kingdom to earn a place at the renowned FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy (YDEA).
Previous academy 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 Saudi Arabian Motor Federation is one of 23 national motor sport authorities invited to nominate a driver to take part in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia regional qualifying event for the 2015 academy.
Open to nominated drivers aged 15-23, this takes place from Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Yas Marina Circuit, home of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Saudi’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.
The qualifying event in Abu Dhabi is staged on behalf of the FIA Institute by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE.
ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the region’s best young drivers to develop their skills, and enhance their chances of a career in international motor sport.”
“Competition for a place in the academy will be tough, but all the participants who come to Abu Dhabi will learn a great deal to help them in their careers.
“The winner will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of other academy graduates who have gone on to drive at the top level.”
It is one of six regional qualifying events worldwide. Winners from each gain automatic selection into the fully funded 2015 Academy program, which develops young talent and promotes safety in motor sport. Four more drivers will be selected using a wildcard system.
The 23 drivers will receive four days of world-class training and education. In addition to learning advanced driving techniques, they will be tutored on modern media techniques, teamwork and psychology, by a team of experts.
This year’s qualifying events cover six regions. The others take place in Holland (North Eastern Europe), Croatia (South Western Europe), South Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), Mexico (Americas) and China and Australia jointly (Asia-Pacific).
The Academy offers a fully-funded training program to help drivers develop motor sport careers, while increasing safety skills and promoting fairness and responsibility on and off the track.
This year’s event covers Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Yemen and UAE.