Competitors in the new FIA-accredited Formula 4 UAE Championship will be given their first opportunity to race at speed in the Middle East when the Home of F4UAE, Yas Marina Circuit, hosts the first official event for the 2016/2017 season this weekend.
F4UAE is cosidered one of the most important additions to the UAE’s local motorsport calendar and is the first of its kind in the MENA region for developing young driver talent. The six-event season will begin this weekend with a non-championship Trophy Event, where motorsport fans will witness the new formula cars on track across three days as part of the Yas Racing Series.
Utilising the latest Tatuus chassis from Italy with the Abarth Turbo engine, the new open-wheeler category will not only allow new drivers extra seat time to become familiar with the unique purpose-built race cars, but will give teams the opportunity to test and refine their engineering and operations ahead of an extensive racing calendar which will run through the Middle East winter until March next year.
H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motorsports Federation, said: “The Formula 4 UAE Championship is the core element in the ATCUAE’s goal of attracting and developing young local talent in different areas of the motorsport world. Motorsport in the UAE has witnessed great development and expansion over the last few years and it is with great enthusiasm that we now will see the championship officially begin at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.”
Open to drivers aged 15 years and above, F4 was created by world’s governing body of motorsport, the FIA, to help young drivers bridge the gap between existing regional racing series and karting, to European competition and potentially Formula 1®. F4UAE has already attracted entries from around the GCC region, including locally known motorsport operations such as Abu Dhabi Racing and the ATCUAE, Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team, Dragon Racing, Rasgaira Motorsports and the Qatar Motor & Motorsport Federation (QMMF).
Adding competitive pressure to the local entries will be the newly confirmed international operations of GDL Racing and Team Motopark from Europe. World KFJ karting champion Logan Sargeant from the USA will make his single-seater debut this weekend with Team Motopark, alongside teammate South African driver Jonathan Aberdein.
This weekend’s F4UAE non-championship Trophy Event will be held from October 27-29 at the Home of F4UAE, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Today, Thursday October 27, will see four test sessions scheduled from 12.50pm, Friday will host official practice, qualifying, and the first non-championship race at 5.45pm, while the final two non-championship races will be held on Saturday at 10.05am and 2.30pm.
The F4UAE Championship will then allow competitors to start accumulating championship points as of next month when a total of 18 championship races will be held up until March 2017 across five separate weekends between Yas Marina Circuit and the Dubai Autodrome.
Launched in 2014, FIA Formula 4 was created to offer young racing drivers around the world the opportunity to take the first step from karting into the world of single-seater racing. The Formula 4 UAE Championship certified by the FIA and Powered by Abarth is governed by the Automobile and Touring Club of United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE) and promoted by AUH Motorsports. The ATCUAE is the only officially nominated representative of the FIA in the UAE, where F4UAE is headquartered. Designed to be a globally recognised yet affordable category, the F4 car has been designed to keep costs down while providing an ideal learning tool for young drivers who have never raced cars before. Utilising the latest Tatuus chassis with the Abarth Turbo engine, the F4UAE Championship will be the only National Championship that qualifies for FIA Super Licence points; vital for drivers wishing to move up the ladder of motorsport and ultimately Formula 1.