Following a week of intensive testing, Mohamed Al Mutawaa was last night accepted as the UAE’s first ever representative to the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, the most prestigious motorsport training academy in the world.
The FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy was established in 2010 to train young racing and rally drivers from around the world in the skills that they require to be better drivers on the track, and safer drivers on the road, and is led by former Formula One driver and two time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz, who instructs the participants on track, and World Rally Championship Winning Co-Driver Robert Reid, who will look after the participants off track instruction.
Al Mutawaa, who races in the UAE based Formula Gulf 1000 series, was nominated to the Academy by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) as a result of being one of the winners of the UAE Motorsport Star programme which identified him as the leading young circuit racer in the country.
Al Mutawaa was understandably delighted with the news, “I am still a bit in shock to be honest! It was a fantastic experience to just attend the selection event, but to be accepted into the academy itself represents such a big step forward in my career, and I hope that I can make my nation proud by representing the UAE at such a prestigious international academy.”
ATCUAE President and FIA Vice-President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, whose decision it was to nominate Al Mutawaa as the UAE’s representative, was also very encouraging upon hearing of the news, “Mohamed (Al Mutawaa) is entirely deserving of this recognition by the FIA Institute, and I believe he will be a great international ambassador for Emirati Motorsport. I hope other aspiring drivers will follow his lead and understand that the opportunities are there for young competitors if they are prepared to dedicate themselves to their goal.”
Al Mutawaa is one of the youngest participants to have been accepted, and will be joined in the academy by other young talent from Austria, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Columbia, Lithuania, Denmark, Costa Rica, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Holland, the USA, and the UK.
The value of the academy to a young drivers career can be demonstrated by looking at the example of American Alexander Rossi, a graduate of the inaugural academy in 2011, who this week took part in the 2011 Formula One Young Drivers Test at the Yas Marina Circuit for the Lotus Racing Team, only days after a strong performance in the Formula One GP2 Final support race.
Al Mutawaa, along with the other 17 academy students, will attend five workshops of five days each at destinations around Europe where he will learn all the skills required to compete at the highest levels of world motorsport. The first workshop will take place in Edinburgh in December.