The Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) has long worked to promote motorsport in both the UAE and across the whole Middle East through increasing the knowledge and understanding of the stakeholders involved in the sport, by supporting the development of young driving talent, and through encouraging investment in the sport. One such example of this support is the ATCUAE’s sponsorship of young racing driver Mohammed Al Mutawaa, who is currently enrolled in the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, has long called more young people to take up the sport, “We have some of the finest facilities in the world for people wishing to start racing, however they are sadly underused. We need to start educating our competitors when they are young, and it is a privilege for the UAE to have one of our drivers taking part in such a prestigious programme as the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, and we are very happy and committed to supporting our talented youngsters, who represent the future of the sport in the UAE and Middle East.”
Ben Sulayem added, “We at the ATCUAE always try to encourage as many young people in the UAE, especially Emirati’s to get involved in motorsport. We are a knowledge led organization and strongly believe that educating young drivers is key to their development. By promoting drivers while they are still young, we also hope that it will inspire other young people to view them as role models and want to follow in their footsteps”.
“I have been lucky enough to have the support of some great people and organizations already in my young career, and I want to thank ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem personally for supporting my further development”, said Al Mutawaa. “I just hope I can repay his faith in me by becoming a good ambassador for Emirati motorsport.”
Twelve months ago, the ATCUAE used their successful UAE Motorsport Star programme to identify Mohammed Al Mutawaa as their candidate for nomination to the FIA Institute for the Academy. Al Mutawaa, along with UAE Karting Champion Mohammed Al Dhaheri, travelled to the University of Ulster in the UK to receive elite athlete training as part of their development. Al Mutawaa added “It was a great experience at the University, and as a result of my training there, the ATCUAE had me well prepared for the Academy selection event a few weeks later where I was one of the only nominees familiar with the kind of tests we had to take. Without the UAE Motorsport Star programme, I wouldn’t be in the Academy today.”
In November 2011, Al Mutawaa, who this season was runner up in the inaugural Formula Gulf 1000 single seat championship, became the first Arab driver to be accepted into the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, the most prestigious motorsport and training development programme in the world, of which he is currently one of only 18 drivers in the world taking part. The credibility of the academy was recently demonstrated through the announcement that 2010–11 academy graduate Alexander Rossi of the USA made his Formula One debut for the Caterham Team during practice at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Three Academy workshops have already taken place: in Edinburgh, Scotland in December; Chamonix, France in January; and Teesdorf, Austria in April. Al Mutawaa will attend the fourth of his six FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy workshops this week from the 14th to the 18th May at the Road Safety Training Centre in Teesdorf, Austria. While there he will receive driver training from former Formula One and two-time Le Mans 24Hr winning driver Alex Wurz, while also learning about performance training and career management from former WRC winning Co-driver Robert Reid.