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After more than 12 months of planning, the first ever competition points for the new FIA-accredited Formula 4 UAE Championship will be awarded this weekend as competitors prepare for Round 1 of the championship being held at the Dubai Autodrome, Dubai Motor City, UAE.

While the six-event season begin last month with a Trophy Event at the Home of F4UAE, Yas Marina Circuit, this weekend marks the first time that the races will count towards the championship which is integral for drivers wishing to qualify for FIA Super Licence points and move up the ladder of motorsport globally.

“The F4UAE Championship will officially begin with the point-scoring Round 1 this weekend at the Dubai Autodrome,” said Mohamed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation. “The young talented participants competing in this championship are all eager to show their best in motorsport. There will be a lot of excitement and challenges for everyone. I wish them safe and enjoyable races.”

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 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.

F4UAE has attracted entries from both around the GCC region including local operations Abu Dhabi Racing and the ATCUE, Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team, Dragon Racing, Rasgaira Motorsports and the Qatar Motor & Motorsport Federation (QMMF), plus experienced teams from Europe such as Team Motopark which claimed victory at the Trophy Event last month with South African driver Jonathan Aberdein taking all three races.

A new addition to the grid this weekend is Dubai-based Briton Sean Babington, a multipe karting champion, who will steer the #4 Energy Dubai F4UAE racecar at what will be his circuit-racing debut. Well cemented in the strong UAE karting scene, Babington already is complimentary about F4UAE as he envisions the Championship being the natural stepping stone for many junior karters who wish to progress their careers professionally in the future.

“Absolutely, I think there’s a lot of drivers around even if you just look at Senior Rotax, for sure they want to race cars. Being at karting races the last few weeks everyone is talking about F4UAE. So when 10 to 12 year olds grow up in a couple of years time, they’ll all be mad for this for sure,” said Babington.

In recent news, F4UAE also announced that Elite French watch manufacturer BRM Chronographes will become an official partner to create all trophies that will be presented to the category’s podium finishers at each round, and will also provide exclusive commemorative watches for the outright F4UAE Champion and highest-placed Rookie driver come season’s end next March.

Round 1 of the F4UAE Championship begin's today Thursday November 17 with two extened test sessions, Friday will host official practice, qualifying, and Race 1 of the season at 4.05pm, while Races 2 and 3 will be run on Saturday at 9.25am and 1.30pm respectively.

Including Round 1’s sessions, 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.