ATC UAE: Recruitment drive for Emirati marshals pays off as over one hundred sign up as volunteers
Dubai, UAE, 14 September 2012: The second marshal training session for this year’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place today at the Yas Marina Circuit, with Emirati volunteers set to play a vital role in ensuring the efficient running of the showpiece event.
A total of 80 UAE nationals were among the 400 volunteers taking part in the intensive large scale training as marshals ahead of the big race on 4 November. And it is expected that more than 100 Emiratis will be among the 650 marshals needed this year, more than double the amount of UAE national volunteers in 2011.
The growth of Emirati marshals in 2012 marks another significant step for the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and its President, Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in the successful drive to become fully self sufficient in providing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a completely local-based team of marshals.
As one of only four FIA recognised Regional Training Providers, the ATCUAE signed a new five-year agreement with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) in June 2012 to continue as sporting organisers of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and other year-round competitive events at Yas Marina Circuit.
“Three years ago we staged our first training session for marshals at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and since then, we have successfully brought more and more Emiratis up to speed to be involved in the event,” said Sulayem.
“I am delighted that this year more than 100 UAE Nationals will play their part in making sure the race is run safely and efficiently. At the same time, I would like to show my appreciation to the hundreds of other volunteer marshals that will be busy ensuring smooth operations come race day in November. Every person counts and I am very pleased with the huge response from UAE based volunteers that we have witnessed this year.”
The one-day marshals training programme at the Yas Marina Circuit today bought a mixture of both classroom and practical sessions, primarily focused on trackside and pit lane marshals. More than half of the volunteers will be inexperienced in race marshalling.
Added Sulayem: “All the volunteers will be given the opportunity to go to their designated posts on the track as a lot haven’t marshalled at the Yas Marina Circuit before. We don’t want their first experience at their posts to be on the same morning of Formula 1 practice sessions, so it’s important that they familiarise themselves beforehand.”
The ATCUAE will also stage practical exercises in which intervention marshals, tasked with handling incidents during a race, will have a chance to go out to a Formula 1 car on track and receive hands on practice on the correct response procedures.
The final Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marshals training will take place on 19 October at the Yas Marina Circuit, to coincide with the opening round of the National Race Championship, which will be used as a systems test trial run.