Gulf 12 Hours race sees limited number of Arab teams
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marnia Circuit welcomed this weekend the fourth edition of the Gulf 12 Hours race with only two Arab teams
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marnia Circuit welcomed this weekend the fourth edition of the Gulf 12 Hours race with only two Arab teams.
The three-day competition, which closes the 2014 race season, gathered a total of 24 teams, from which only two were based in the Gulf region.
“Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon and Dragon Racing are the only two local teams this weekend,” Khaled al-Qubaisi, UAE racing star and one of the few Arab drivers taking part in the competition, told Al Arabiya News.
“We have to educate children from a young age to understand this sport so that the next generation can be more interested and successful in motorcars sports,” al-Qubaisi said.
In 2013, al-Qubaisi launched a racing academy, the Daman Speed Academy, aimed at producing a new generation of drivers who will compete at an international level in motorsports.
Other Arab drivers taking part in the Abu-Dhabi based tournament included Yussif Bassil, Saudi Prince Abdulaziz Turki al-Faisal and Karim al Azhari.
Despite the limited number of Arab drivers, it seems that the Gulf region is expanding in the field.
“This [Yas Marina] track is probably one of the best five or six tracks in the world,” Graham Goodwin, the editor in chief of the daily sports website dailysportscar.com told Al Arabiya News.
“The region is attracting more and more international drivers and competitions,” he said, adding that the weather of the Gulf at this time of year and the amounts of money spent for the maintenance of the tracks were the main factors behind the growing success.
Since its first edition in January 2012, the Gulf 12 Hours has grown in popularity and the next edition has already been confirmed for next December, according to the organizers.
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marnia Circuit opened in 2009 specifically to host the Formula 1. It has since hosted a series of motorsport events all year round.