ATC UAE: All eyes on F1 as Sulayem heads for Moscow
Dubai, UAE, 23 September, 2012: The UAE is to play a key role in guiding world superpower Russia into the multi billion dollar global arena of Formula One racing.
The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE will sign a landmark agreement with its counterpart in Moscow this week to train and prepare senior motor sport officials and volunteers for the inaugural F1 Grand Prix of Russia in 2014.
The live, on-the-job training will be delivered during the high pressure staging of the 2012 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
ATCUAE President Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Lieutenant General Victor Kiryanov, Chief of the Department of the State Road Safety Inspectorate (Traffic Police), and President of the Russian Automobile Federation, will sign a memorandum in the Russian capital.
The UAE Ambassador to the Russian Federation, H.E. Omer Saif Ghobash will attend the signing ceremony which highlights the ATCUAE’s status as one of world’s leading national motor sport authorities, with acknowledged training expertise that is now in growing international demand.
During his visit Sulayem will bring an official letter from H.E. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, and Chairman of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare.
In the letter, which Sulayem will deliver to H E Vitaly Mukto, Russian Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy, Al Owais welcomes and encourages the increased sporting ties and cooperation between Russia and the UAE in his capacity as the country’s minister responsible for sport.
“We are very happy to be able to offer our experience and specialised training methods to help prepare our counterparts in Russia for their entry into Formula One racing,” said Sulayem.
“This is a proud moment for the Club, and for the UAE as a whole, and it highlights the great progress we have made in establishing the Emirates as a strong force in motor sport, and positioning Abu Dhabi as a top F1 venue.
“The UAE Government has made this all possible through a major investment in the motor sport infrastructure we have today. This created the platform for the ATCUAE to grow quickly into an organisation whose expertise in training, research and education is now internationally recognised.”
The ATCUAE, in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Motor Sport Management, is creating a unique facility for the training of around 40 senior Russian officials and marshals at the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit from 2-4 November. This on-the-job training will be conducted by a team of specialists from the Club’s training and education division, the Motorsport Knowledge Institute (MKI).
The MKI was established by Sulayem earlier this year shortly after the Club was elevated to the status of FIA Institute approved Regional Training Provider in December 2011. This meant the ATCUAE became one of only four national motor sport authorities in the world that delivers training to other FIA-recognised motor sport organisations.
The MKI’s role is to deliver FIA training for event organisation, with an emphasis on safety for officials, competitors and spectators, and its services are now in demand worldwide. In recent weeks, MKI teams have been in Africa to conduct training programmes for officials of the national motor sport authorities of Sudan and Tanzania.
The ATCUE has also begun training programmes in South America to assist with the continued development of the motor sport infrastructures in Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia. Training will be extended into other parts of the world in the months ahead.
The demand for its services highlight the remarkable progress made in the UAE since 2009 when half of the 700 marshals needed to help run the inaugural F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had to be flown in from the UK because of a shortage of trained local motor sport volunteers.
By then, however, Sulayem had already launched a comprehensive five-year plan to establish a permanent pool of UAE-based motorsport marshals to service the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the growing overall needs of motorsport in the Emirates.
This goal was achieved two years ahead of schedule, and the ATCUAE’s performance in demonstrating the highest standards of motor sport marshalling and training was officially recognised by the FIA with the award of Regional Training Provider status last year.
That status is now strongly underlined by the fact that UAE trainers will show Russian officials and volunteers in Abu Dhabi how to run their own F1 event safely and to FIA standards.