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As demand grows for ATCUAE training expertise, FIA Vice President Sulayem welcomes record number of UAE Nationals to marshals pool

 Dubai, UAE, 24th May 2012:  Emiratis will play a bigger than ever role in ensuring the safe and efficient running of this year’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


A record number of 130 UAE Nationals are among the first batch of 420 volunteers who tomorrow (Friday) begin intensive training as marshals for the showpiece event at Yas Marina Circuit on 4 November.

It marks another milestone for the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and its President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in the successful drive to become fully self sufficient in providing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a completely local-based team of marshals.

When the race 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 implemented a comprehensive five-year plan to establish a permanent pool of UAE-based motorsport marshals to service the FI Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the growing overall needs of motorsport in the Emirates.

This 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 last year by the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, with the award of Regional Training Provider (RTP) status.

Joining an elite group of only three other clubs worldwide granted RTP status, the ATCUAE became eligible to train other national motor sport authorities (ASNs), with financial support from the FIA’s Motor Sport Safety Development Fund.

There has been a high demand for its services, particularly from ASNs across the Arab world. The ATCUAE sent a team to Kuwait in March to deliver a rally training programme andis sending training teams to Algeria and Tanzania next month.

ATCUAE trainers will also go to Sudan later in the year to oversee the setting up of a national

motor sport structure. As part of that process, officials from the Sudanese Automobile and Touring Club will attend tomorrow’s (Friday) marshals training session at Yas Marina Circuit.

“It will be three years to the day that we staged our first training session for marshals, and I’m proud of what we have achieved since then,” said Sulayem. “It’s particularly pleasing to see that more and more Emiratis are now playing their part in making sure the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and other motor sport events we stage, are run safely and efficiently.”

 Around 20% of the volunteers taking part in tomorrow’s (Friday) marshals training session, within the Paddock Club at Yas Marina Circuit, will be new to F1. “This is a very transient place, with people arriving and leaving the country all the time, so we are always looking to find and train new marshals to replace those who move on,” said Sulayem.

Apart from the main group of track marshals, volunteers are also trained to join the pit lane, rescue, recovery and medical teams during the 2012 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In addition to the four further major training sessions that will be staged in the build-up to the event, the specialist groups are also brought together for regular additional instruction, with the recovery team assembling every Wednesday evening at Yas Marina Circuit.


Photo: The ATCUAE’s marshals training expertise is in high demand.