x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Simmonds calls for changes

Humaid al Masaood will partner with Steven Kane to run the remainder of the seven American Le Mans Series events this season with hopes of making a 2012 run at the 24 hours at Le Mans.

Jon Simmonds, the Cytech UAE GTB Champion, has called for a revamp of motor racing in the country. After winning one of the toughest championships in history, Simmonds wants changes to lift the sport to new heights.

"The patrons and figureheads of our sport must get involved more than once a year at the end of season party," Simmonds said. "They have the power to elevate our sport but they don't use it, and I find this extremely frustrating and disappointing."

The Dubai-based Briton want to make racing more affordable and easier to follow. "[It is] easy to criticise and hard to fix I know … but I think we [UAE motorsport] should have more focus on affordable championships and fewer championships," he said.

"There is a limited number of funded drivers and splitting them up between five or six championships makes little sense to me. Clio or Civic Cup would be an ideal Class 2 Touring Car Championship series and could run with the Class 1 cars without danger. We could easily see grids of 25/35 cars if we get this right.

"A TV screen viewable from the main grandstand [at Dubai Autodrome] would attract a lot more spectators as following our racing is very hard at the events despite the Phil Anson's amazing commentary."