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Sport
Kit Bag

Yas to host Young Drivers Academy qualifiers

The National staff   |  September 17, 2013

Mansour Al Helei, 21, will represent the UAE in the four-day Middle East and Mediterranean qualifying event for the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. Charles Crowell for The National
Charles Crowell
Mansour Al Helei, 21, will represent the UAE in the four-day Middle East and Mediterranean qualifying event for the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. Charles Crowell for The National

The nursery Mansour Al Helei represents the UAE in the four-day Middle East and Mediterranean qualifying event at Yas Marina Circuit for the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, which has been revamped this year. It is one of five selection events being staged globally to deliver eight of the best young drivers into the Academy, with the ultimate aim to turn them into future world champions.

Pedigree The ATCUAE selected Al Helei based on his performances in recent years in Middle East cross-country rallies, including the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The 21 year old, who is the son of the UAE cross-country rally specialist Yahya Al Helei, aims to compete in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 2014. Al Helei tackled his first event, the 2010 Desert Challenge, as co-driver for his father.

The attendees Starting Sunday, the regional selection event will set a series of tests on the track and in the classroom for the 16 drivers who have been nominated by their respective national motor sport authorities.

Rewards On the final day, the group will be cut to the top six who will compete in a shoot-out on track. The winner enters the full Academy programme with the winners of the other selection events in Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific and the Americas, along with three wild card selections. The Academy will deliver a fully-funded training programme to help drivers develop careers in motor sport.

A sneak peek into an Austrian test.