Mohammed 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, 18, who competes in the Formula Gulf 1000 racing series, was set to attend a four-day selection event in Melk, Austria, where he would aim for a place in the academy. The FIA school is open to rally and racing divers, ages 18 to 23, from around the world.
He was nominated to the FIA Institute by the UAE Automobile and Touring Club (ATCUAE), who used the UAE Motorsport Star programme to identify him as the UAE’s most promising young driver.
He will be one of 30 drivers at the selection event competing for 18 spaces in the academy, three of which are guaranteed for drivers from the Middle East and Africa.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the ATCUAE and vice president of the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, said: “This is great not only for Mohammed 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.”
Al Mutawaa, along with the UAE Karting champion Mohammed Al Dhaheri, was selected as a UAE Motorsport Star from a shortlist of five candidates. 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.
His backers were hoping that the Ulster course would give him an edge over his competition in Austria.
“This will hopefully be the thing that will take my career to the next level,” Al Mutawaa said.
“The training and exposure that being an Academy member will give me is extremely important.”
One of Al Mutawaa’s rivals for a place in the final 18 of the academy is Joseph Ghanem of Lebanon, one of Al Mutawaa’s competitors in the Formula Gulf 1000 series.