As the United Arab Emirates prepares for a new motorsport season, the CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, Al Tareq Al Ameri, has called F4UAE a "cornerstone" category for those making the transition to professional motorsport ahead of what will be the Championship's second year of competition.
Debuting in October 2016, the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth saw an 18-race season attract not only new Emirati and GCC drivers, but a wealth of new racing talent from South Africa, the USA, Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and others participate in the inaugural season.
With increased participation from new drivers and teams readying for the 2017/18 season, and an extended 24-race calendar already announced, the CEO of the the Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi - the official Home of F4UAE - says the category is one of the more important in the region to grow motorsport participation in the UAE.
"Of course we’re excited for the second season and we’re looking for more participation from the motorsport community becasue we're looking at Formula 4 UAE being a cornerstone of the transition between karting and to professional racing," said Al Tareq Al Ameri, speaking at the Yas Marina Circuit Calendar Launch yesterday. "Getting more and more people behind it, we eventually will see a lot more professional drivers integrate into the UAE motorsport community. We wish everyone the best for the new season."
Eight of last season’s F4UAE drivers have made a name for themselves in European F4 championships with highlights including F4UAE championship winner Jonathan Aberdein finishing 9th outright in the ADAC Formel 4 Championship, Fabio Scherer finishing 5th in ADAC Formel 4 as well, F4UAE’s reigning Rookie of the Year, Logan Sargeant, finishing third in British F4 behind Australian Oscar Piastri who finished his season second outright in British F4.
F4UAE promoter Carl Rolaston says he's impressed with the level of success the F4UAE drivers have achieved in Europe and hopes the same for the new season of drivers ready to compete in the UAE.
"It is wonderful to see that F4UAE has been a successful training ground for a lot of young stars of the future, especially for the likes of Oscar and Logan who actually made their open-wheeler debut here before going off to be championship contenders in the UK," said Rolaston. "With the extensive track time that we offer, I'm confident that we proved last season that F4UAE is the ideal championship for novice karting drivers to come and learn open-wheeler race craft before heading back to Europe. Plus in doing so, we are potentially encouraging more young GCC drivers who are in karting to take the leap up to F4 in the near future and improve their racing skills as well."
The 2017/18 F4UAE Championship begins at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the official pre-season test on October 27-28, before Round 1 sees F4UAE support the Gulf 12Hrs on December 13-16.