Slick, quick and designed to thrill – new racing show on track to air
What are the differences between a regular car and a racing car? What is it like to be in a high-speed accident on a race track? How do you master corners without losing control of your car when you are driving at breakneck speeds?
A series of short programmes from the free-to-air Quest Arabiya channel attempts to answer these questions and more besides, as they explore everything to do with the adrenalin-fuelled sport of motor racing.
The World of Racing – an Arabic-language series of 12 episodes, each of which is about two minutes long – is presented by Saudi Arabian racing legend, and Red Bull athlete, Abdulaziz Al Faisal.
“The show’s premise is that it’s short and to the point,” he says. “It’s very informative, very specific and interesting for anyone wanting to know more about the world of racing, a world I’m very passionate about.”
Unlike shows such as Top Gear or The Grand Tour, The World Of Racing is less about the automotive entertainment angle and more about educating in an interesting way people who would like to delve into the world of motor racing, he explains.
“There’s a growing interest in the world of car racing in the region and it’s much more accessible today than it was when I first started,” the 32-year-old says.
Al Faisal was 21, and studying political science in London, when he took time out to attend a three-day course in Bahrain about the basics of racing.
“I’ve always had a passion for cars,” he says. “My father loved classic cars and collected them, but my interest was in the car’s engineering at first, rather than racing. How do cars work, buying new equipment or car parts and installing them in our own cars, washing and polishing and cleaning our cars – that’s how it all started for me.
“Then, as a teenager, there was the eagerness to get on the road and learn how to drive.”
His interest grew from there into a career, during which Al Faisal has competed in races around the world.
He now competes in about 15 international races a year and is still enjoying success, having won two racing championships in the Middle East, both for Porsche.
“I started quite late, at age 21 – which is when I first got in a race car – because there were no facilities in the region before that and nowhere to participate when it came to races,” says Al Faisal. “Usually, kids start at age eight with karting.”
Now, there are race tracks available across the region for people interested in racing, including one in Abu Dhabi, one in Dubai, two in Riyadh, one in Bahrain and one in Qatar.
“There’s a growing interest because of the accessibility of these race tracks, and The World of Racing will explain how to get into the sport safely and responsibly,” he says.
“It’s great for those who just want information on things like the level of safety in racing, or the difference between the types of tyres we use – but it’s also great for someone who wants to get into racing.”
The series, he adds, could be the perfect opportunity to take a first step into the world of racing for someone who needs a little push.
“There’s definitely an audience out there and we have received a lot of feedback about how people wish the show was longer,” he says.
“But this is just a start, just the beginning of educating those interested about the world of racing. Who knows what might come next?”
Episodes of The World of Racing can be streamed for free at www.questarabiya.com
Updated: November 27, 2016 04:00 AM