New Formula 4 UAE Championship at Yas Marina

The 2016-17 UAE motorsport season will also see the return of TRD 86 Cup

Yas Marina Circuit, in partnership with Automobile & Touring Club UAE (ATCUAE), has announced it will be the official home of the brand new Formula 4 UAE Championship, due to debut at the iconic F1 circuit on October 28.

The announcement was made at Yas Marina Circuit’s official 2016-2017 Calendar Launch.

This year will be the circuit’s most comprehensive calendar of local motorsport, fitness, corporate entertainment, and driving and passenger experiences since 2009, with more than 377 activities scheduled over the next 12 months.

“We have launched a comprehensive calendar of events and programmes, providing everyone in the UAE with an active and varied choice that underlines the Circuit’s multi-purpose role within the community,” said Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

“We are constantly improving and extending our activities and look forward to welcoming all-comers to the Circuit for this coming season. Whether you are a motorsport or racing enthusiast or like to challenge yourself at our unique venue, we will continue to provide the biggest and best sporting and entertainment opportunities in the region.”

The FIA-accredited Formula 4 UAE championship is one of the most important additions to the UAE’s local motorsport calendar this year and is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.

It consists of a series of 18 rounds run over six separate weekends – the majority of which will take place at Yas Marina Circuit.

Open to drivers aged 15 years and above, the new championship was created by motorsport world governing body FIA to help local drivers in the UAE bridge the gap between existing regional racing series and European competition and potentially Formula 1.

“Yas Marina Circuit has a proven track record in hosting and organising international-level events, and this season we are pleased to partner with them to host three race weekends featuring 12 rounds of the new FIA-accredited Formula 4 UAE Championship, which will be an important addition to our already long list of joint events. I wish everyone another successful, exciting and safe season ahead,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, at the launch.

Enhancing its motorsports community at the local level are many new events that have been added to what is already a comprehensive programme of racing action.

Running from October 28 through to April 22, in addition to the Formula 4 UAE Championship the new racing season will feature the debut of the brand new Ferrari MEA series, which will offer fans even more spectacle and on-track thrills.

The circuit welcomes the TRD 86 Cup for its third consecutive season. Supported once again by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the TRD 86 Cup is a single-make, sustainable local motor sport initiative introduced by Yas Marina Circuit to enable amateur racers to drive in a professional, competitive environment.

Part of the popular four-round Yas Racing Series, the TRD 86 Cup will also feature alongside the Middle East Radical Cup, FG1000, NGK Racing Series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and UAE Time Attack.

New for Yas Racing Series 2016-17 is the Lamborghini Trofeo and TCR Middle East championship.

Yas Super Street Challenge, Yas Marina Circuit’s local urban racing competition, will be back with bigger and better prizes across five categories over four rounds, starting on January 19 and 20, 2017.

Continuing with professional racing, the fourth edition of the Gulf 12 Hours endurance race is back on December 16.

Spectators are promised a full day of racing action as the world’s leading manufacturers battle it out in one of the most exciting race days in the regional calendar.

Karting enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that March 18 will see the return of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge at the circuit, part of the build up to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals that will see more than 260 drivers from 60 countries participating across three categories.

For those looking for white-knuckle thrills behind the wheel, Yas Marina Circuit also continues an expanded DriveYAS programme – the most flexible way to enjoy the wide range of driving experiences available – as well as welcoming Jaguar as a new experience partner.

Whether you want to test yourself against the track in a Jaguar F-TYPE, feel the raw power of a Mercedes AMG, beat the clock in a Chevrolet SS drag racer, or lay down some rubber in a Drift car, now you can turn up and fulfill your driving dreams on selected days.

With DriveYAS, Yas Marina Circuit offers a whole range of ‘arrive and drive’ experiences in one value package, and offers special packages across multiple experiences.

Yas Marina Circuit hasn’t forgotten about the thriving motorbike community and local car enthusiasts, with Bike Track Days and Track Days regularly scheduled in the next seven months, giving amateurs the chance to take the racing line on this iconic Grand Prix track.

This calendar season Yas Marina Circuit will also become the home of eSports in the UAE as it partners with the Middle East region’s leading eSports organisation Power League Gaming (PLG) to host a number of high-profile gaming events at the Yas Events Centre.  Both Activision’s Call of Duty World League (CWL), and Electronic Arts (EA) FIFA franchise events underline a new partnership with Power League Gaming that is set to grow talent in the region.

And with the 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Dhabi Grand Prix fast approaching, Yas Marina Circuit is heading for another sell-out weekend on November 25-27
following on from last week’s announcement that global superstar Lionel Richie will entertain race goers on Saturday November 26, alongside Chemical Brothers (Friday) and Rihanna (Sunday).

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix offers the best value yet with tickets providing access to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Water World, as well as a world-class line-up of after-race concerts.

Some ticket categories have already sold out and with limited availability across many remaining ticket types; Yas Marina Circuit encourages fans to go to<> to avoid disappointment.

Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said at the launch event: “The sporting calendar of Yas Marina Circuit for the season 2016-2017 is very important. This importance is based on the role the Circuit is playing to develop the practice of sport, and to enhance social interaction in Abu Dhabi.

“We at Abu Dhabi Sports Council are very keen to develop our strategic partnership with Yas Marina Circuit, and to support their efforts to make all their community sport events successful.

“All community sport events and activities in this calendar aim towards a more dynamic community by encouraging all people to play sport as part of their lifestyle, and to promote healthy living.

“The objectives of this calendar are in line with to our plans at ADSC in terms of community sports. We will take all needed efforts to increase and to raise awareness on the importance of sport and exercise to combat illnesses that occur when people don’t lead active lives.

“I would like to express our thanks to Yas Marina Circuit on this very rich calendar for the new season, and call upon all community segments in Abu Dhabi to make use of it.”

TriYAS by ActiveLife – Daman will return on February 17 and the international WTS ITU will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 3 and 4, 2017.

Open to all ages and ability levels, March 18 sees the Zayed Marathon return, offering a fun and challenging course for total beginners or elite runners alike.

Abu Dhabi’s health and fitness communities will be able to keep up-to-date and be inspired by the new #Last1k blog that provides connection with other UAE-based athletes and a platform for inspiration.

There’s exciting news for cycling fans too as they will be able to get up close and personal with leading personalities from the sport as the Abu Dhabi Tour comes to the circuit on October 23 and February 26.

Families will be able to mark the 45thUAE National Day with a weekend of heritage-led activities taking place at the Circuit for the weekend of Friday December 2.