Al Ain Raceway Hosts The Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 19 – 26 November 2011
World’s Largest Karting Event
Yas Island 30 October 2011: Al Ain Raceway today formally announced that it will host this year’s Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals – the world’s most prestigious single karting event, to be held between 19 – 26 November 2011.
The annual event, now in its 12th year will be the largest karting event to date with 264 participants from 60 different nations across five continents taking part, including seven competitors in Team UAE. Al Ain Raceway was selected to host this event for the second time based on the venue suitability, high standards and facilities, as well as its proven professionalism and organisation.
Speaking at a press conference held at Yas Marina Circuit, Al Ain Raceway Chairman, H.E. Khaled Bin Shaiban Al Mehairi said, “This year’s Grand Finals are being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. We are also supported by our sponsors Yas Marina Circuit, STRATA and Tawazun. Together we share a passion to raise the profile of this great sport.”
H.E. Khaled Bin Shaiban Al Mehairi continued, “Ask any Formula One driver how he started his career and 99% of them will tell you it all began with karting. Karting is the purest form of racing. The experience that one gains from racing karts is invaluable, not only control of the vehicle but also race craft and sportsmanship. These are the attributes that mould young drivers into the international superstars we see today. Here in the UAE we are keen to join the ranks of other countries in building the sport from the bottom up.”
“In the space of two years, we have established Yas Marina Circuit as one of the leading motorsport facilities in the world, this has helped to facilitate promoting Abu Dhabi as a destination,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management. “As the proud host of the 2011 F1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it is equally fitting that Yas Marina Circuit sponsor the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals. Our focus is to help facilitate and build a sustainable motorsports culture here in the UAE.”
The press conference was also attended by ATC President, FIA Vice President and UAE champion rally driver, H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, one the Arab world’s most famous sportsmen who wholeheartedly supports the prospect of UAE F1 drivers in the future.
H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem said, “Motorsport in the UAE has come a long way in the last decade, and we are now in a position to hold world class events across our top level facilities. Al Ain Raceway, is one of the finest karting facilities in the world, and with the assistance of the ATCUAE, I have no doubt that it will be a terrific event where we will see some exciting, yet safe racing. I know I am not the only one looking forward to seeing the racing stars of the future in action in Al Ain this coming November.”
H.E. Khaled Bin Shaiban Al Mehairi further added, “With Al Ain Raceway we have created a centre of karting excellence and our aim is to be able to provide equipment, support and guidance to those who wish to join the motorsport ladder. Together with the Automobile & Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates, our FIA/CIK sporting authority, we continue to run the UAE's only national karting race series – the Al Ain Raceway Kart Club – to the highest possible standards and we have been very pleased to see how the grid sizes have increased in recent years With the expertise available at Al Ain Raceway, we are able to develop and nurture the talents of young drivers and ultimately ensure a UAE driver presence on the world’s Formula One circuits in the years to come”.
Al Ain Raceway previously hosted the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, shortly after it opened in 2007. The circuit is a world class facility, with a Level B homologation – the highest in the region.
Photo Caption: L-R: Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management; H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATC President, FIA Vice President and UAE champion rally driver; Antonio Kekati, Managing Director of Al Ain Raceway at the press conference held at Yas Marina Circuit to announce the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals.
About the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals
To qualify, competitors have proved that they are the best in their home countries through a season of races and have won their invitation to the Grand Finals entirely on merit. As such they are ambassadors for the sport.
There are four racing categories:
Category Power Age No of
Rotax Junior MAX 20.4 hp 13 – 16 years 72
Rotax MAX 28.5 hp 15 years & older 72
Rotax DD2 32.6 hp
2 speed gearbox 15 years & older 72
Rotax DD2 Masters 32.6 hp
2 speed gearbox 32 years & older 48
Now in its twelfth year, the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals is an international CIK event which has become the most prestigious championship in the world of karting.
Drivers qualify for the Grand Finals via the National Rotax MAX Challenge in their home country – approximately 3,700 competitors take part worldwide. The season’s winners of each class are invited to the Grand Finals.
About Al Ain Raceway
Al Ain Raceway is a state-of-the-art international karting facility specialising in Event Management and delivering high performance karting at its very best. The world-leading, fully flood-lit circuit features several distinctive configurations, providing an exhilarating challenge for drivers of all abilities.
Al Ain Raceway offers unrivalled opportunities for those who demand the very best in Corporate Entertainment and Conferencing, Arrive and Drive, Junior Driving and Tuition as well as Professional Racing, Kart Sales and Technical Support. Enthusiasts from the age of 8 years and above – boys and girls, men and women - are all welcome.
Yas Marina Circuit – Title Sponsor
Yas Marina Circuit is probably one of the world's most iconic sporting venues. Located on Yas Island, the circuit debuted on 30 October 2009 with the final race of the FIA Formula One World Championship - the inaugural Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to a capacity crowd of around 50,000.
Year round, Yas Marina Circuit hosts an extensive programme of leading international and national motorsport racing series as well as major entertainment events and corporate activities. Supplementary facilities include the Yas Drag Racing Centre, the Yas Racing School and the Yas Kartzone.
STRATA – Partner Sponsor
Strata is an advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility wholly-owned by Mubadala, producing top quality component aircraft products to OEMs in the global aerospace sector. Combining leading-edge technology, best practice manufacturing processes, an integrated supply chain, and a high calibre workforce,
Strata delivers innovative, cost-effective solutions driving growth and efficiency. Operating in the highly competitive market of aerostructures manufacturing, Strata will be delivering comprehensive design, development, and manufacturing of components for the next generation of commercial aircraft.
Tawazun – Partner Sponsor
Tawazun Holding is a strategic investment holding company focused on defense and specialised manufacturing. It develops ventures through industrial partnerships and strategic investments in focused sectors creating value and transferring knowledge and technological capability to the UAE.
Tawazun Holding’s objectives are guided by Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 which focuses on economic diversification and sustainability, technology transfer and value addition to the people of the UAE through training and creation of new opportunities