Mohammad Al Mutawaa, one of the winners of the UAE Motorsport Star programme, has been invited to the selection stage for a place in the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, the world’s most prestigious driver training programme.
Al Mutawaa, a competitor in the Formula gulf racing series, will attend a selection event in Melk, Austria from the 15th to the 18th November where he will aim to earn a place in the academy. He was nominated to the FIA Institute by the ATCUAE, who used the UAE Motorsport Star programme to identify him as the UAE’s most promising young driver. He will be one of thirty drivers at the selection event competing for eighteen spaces in the academy, three of which are guaranteed for drivers from the Middle East and Africa.
Al Mutawaa’s nomination to the academy has been managed by the ATCUAE, who used their UAE Motorsport Star Programme to identify him as the UAE’s most promising young driver, and to train him to a level expected by the FIA Institute. Al Mutawaa, along with UAE Karting champion Mohammed Al Dhaheri, was selected as a UAE Motorsport Star from a shortlist of five candidates identified by the ATCUAE, due to his excellent performance across a range of physiological, psychological and media tests. He was rewarded by being sent to the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland for an intensive, week long training course with the university’s team of sports scientists, which will hopefully give him the edge over his competition when he gets to Austria.
ATCUAE President and FIA Vice-President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was delighted by the news of Al Mutawaa’s invitation; “This is great not only for Mohammad Al Mutawaa, but for all Emirati motorsport. He is an excellent talent for someone so young, and he represents the future of the sport here. Hopefully his future success will encourage more young people here to get involved in the sport, as it proves that there are opportunities available.”
The FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy is open to 18 to 23 years old rally and racing drivers from around the world, who have shown themselves to be the best young drivers in their respective countries. Mohammad Al Mutawaa is understandably excited at the prospect of being involved with the Academy; “This will hopefully be the thing that will take my career to the next level. The training and exposure that being an Academy member will give me is extremely important, and I thank the ATCUAE and the FIA Institute for giving me this opportunity.” Al Mutawaa, who is currently sponsored by the Yas Marina Circuit in the FG1000 series, will receive financial backing from the ATCUAE to attend the selection event in Austria.
Highlighting the current strength of Emirati motorsport is the fact that one of Al Mutawaa’s rivals for a place in the final eighteen of the academy will be Joseph Ghanem of Lebanon, who will be familiar to many local racing fans as one of Al Mutawaa’s competitors in the Formula Gulf 1000 series. To have two UAE based competitors, as well as Syrian driver Yazan Hamadeh, involved at this stage of the programme, prooves that Middle Eastern drivers are becoming a force to be reckoned on with on the international stage.
November will be a big month for the UAE Motorsport Stars programme. As well as Al Mutawaa’s involvement with the FIA Institute Young Drivers Excellence Academy, fellow UAE Motorsport Star Mohammed Al Dhaheri will be representing his country at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at Al Ain Raceway from 23rd to the 26th November. The biggest karting event in the world will bring 262 international competitors to the UAE, and it is hoped that he can use his home advantage to bring him great success.
Finally, two television specials will soon appear on the Dubai Sports Channel on the UAE Motorsport Star programme. To tell the story of how talented young drivers train for success, Dubai Sports will air one show on the selection process for UAE Motorsport Star, while a second will be dedicated to Al Mutawaa and Al Dhaheri’s training at the University of Ulster.