Two local hot shoes from the UAE National Motorsport scene have been selected for the FIA’s Young Driver Excellence Academy shoot out. Both Mohamed Al Mutawaa and Joseph Ghanem will be hoping on a Jet plane bound for Melk, Austria, where there will take part in exercises designed to evaluate fitness and performance, media techniques, teamwork and psychology.

crankandpiston.com will be supporting them all the way and wish them all the luck in the world.

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The FIA Institute has chosen 30 drivers who will take part in a four-day shootout to decide who will make it onto the 2012 Young Driver Excellence Academy. Only 18 of the shortlisted drivers will receive a place on the fully-funded training programme, which aims to help drivers develop their motor sport careers.

The shortlist is made up of young talent from 26 different countries, including competitors from Australia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, South Africa, UAE, UK and USA.

Amongst the 30 are a number of event winners from the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Intercontinental Rally Challenge and Formula Three championships, as well as drivers with Formula One and World Rally testing experience.

“In just twelve months the Academy has become the most global driver development programme in motor sport,” said professor Sid Watkins, FIA Institute President. “We are proud to be able to help these future stars develop their talent both on and off the track, particularly with a focus on safety, and believe this will help them to success at the top level.”

Richard Woods, FIA Institute director general, added: “The global response to the Academy this year has been impressive. We are pleased to be able to help young competitors from all over the world at this important stage of their development and to ensure that our safety-first approach is spread far and wide amongst motor sport’s future champions.”

Once again, the selection process and training programme will be led by former Formula One driver and two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz and former world rally champion co-driver Robert Reid.

At the selection event, which will be held from November 15-18 in Melk, Austria, they will lead exercises designed to evaluate fitness and performance, media techniques, teamwork and psychology.

“This year we have a truly international field at the selection event with drivers from developing motor sport markets alongside those from well-established ones,” said Wurz. “To be chosen for the Academy they will have to prove themselves physically and mentally, and also in terms of safety and discipline. With the data gathered from the four days we will select the most promising talents and personalities to go forward into the 2012 Academy programme.”

Reid added: “After the success of the first year of the Academy it is great to see such interest in the programme from further afield. We want to develop talent from all over the world, not just to be successful in competition but to act as safety ambassadors for the sport in their own countries for years to come.”

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