The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) has signed a new five-year agreement with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) to continue as sporting organisers of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and other year-round competitive events at Yas Marina Circuit.
The agreement builds on the close working partnership between the ATCUAE and ADMM which has succeeded in establishing the UAE capital as one of the world’s premier F1 venues and motor sport destinations.
ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “We are proud to have been given the opportunity by the Government of Abu Dhabi to work with ADMM towards our shared goals, and look forward to building on what we have achieved together over the last four years.
“Since 2009 we have worked hand in hand with ADMM to create one of the world’s premier platforms for F1 racing and other world-class competitive motor sport. In the process we have achieved our initial targets in motor sport sustainability by building an entirely local-based team of officials and volunteers capable of handling the full spectrum of sporting responsibilities for the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and motor sport in general.”
“The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE has played an active role in developing not only a strong base of motorsport fans, but a strong base of motorsport supporters and volunteers as well,” said Richard Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit, which will host the 2012 Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 2-4 November. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the ATC as we continue to develop the UAE’s next generation of motorsport teams and talent.”
The ATCUAE has a huge range of responsibilities as sporting organisers of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to ensure the smooth and safe staging of the event at Yas Marina Circuit.
One of its major achievements has been the successful implementation of a five-year plan to establish a permanent pool of UAE-based motor sport marshals to service the Grand Prix, and the growing overall needs of motor sport in the Emirates. When the F1 showpiece was first staged in 2009, half of the 700 marshals needed for the event had to be brought in from the UK because of a shortage of UAE-based volunteers with sufficient motor racing experience.
By then, FIA Vice President Sulayem had already put into operation his plan to recruit, train and retain Emirati and expatriate marshals. This included the commissioning of a study on motor sport volunteerism by a team of experts from Indiana State University in the US, with Abu Dhabi Higher Colleges of Technology acting as the domestic academic research partner.
The study, based on the inaugural F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, showed that Emiratis were driven by a sense of national pride and a moral obligation to serve and give back to their country when they answered the call for volunteers at the event.
UAE nationals who came forward to work as marshals also displayed a strong desire to act as role models for youngsters by doing something they considered to be worthwhile. By comparison, the strongest motivation for expatriate volunteers was their great love of motor sport and a desire to be as close as possible to the Formula One action.
The findings were key to the ATCUAE’s five-year plan to build a permanent pool of UAE-based motor sport marshals. This was achieved two years ahead of schedule.