The newest addition to the championship is Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team, a Formula 4 incarnation of the successful Energy Dubai Kart Team.
And Bin Sulayem, president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and the Emirates Motor Sport Federation (EMSF) is looking forward to a competitive season.
“It is wonderful to welcome another team to the F4UAE family, and to extend our grid to 10 local cars so far,” Bin Sulayem said as the new season was launched in Downtown Dubai by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Culture, and Knowedge Development and Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare.
“Their experience in fostering young driving talent in the GCC will be a great asset to the Championship and we look forward to seeing them be competitive once the Championship starts.”
The F4UAE Championship is FIA accredited and was created to offer young racing drivers the opportunity to take the first step from karting into the world of single-seater racing and onto the internationally celebrated Formula 1 category.
It is aimed at young drivers from 15-years-old and will feature 18 races held over six events at Yas Marina Circuit and Dubai Autodrome.
Utilising the latest Italian Tatuus chassis with the Italian Abarth Turbo engine, the F4UAE Championship will be the only National Championship that qualifies for FIA Super Licence points, vital for drivers wishing to move up the ladder of motorsport.
“We are delighted to announce Energy Dubai’s expansion into the F4UAE Championship, and as a team our plan is simply to win,” team principal Kevin Day said. “Our aim has always been to increase the level of karting in the region and to offer high level staff and equipment at a reasonable budget, thus increasing grid numbers.
“And now with the exciting new F4UAE Championship, we are also working to the same principle as the karting, keep the budgets lower to attract more drivers.”
For the first season, the team aims to put their two-time karting world champion driver coach Sean Babington in one car, while working to secure the driving services of a talented UAE national or resident for the second seat.
Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team joins four other GCC teams already announced including Abu Dhabi Racing, Rasgaira Motorsports Team, Qatar Motor & Motorsport Federation (QMMF) and Dragon Racing.
Additionally, the Championship has also opened its doors to European F4 teams wishing to compete in the UAE over the winter.
Abu Dhabi Racing (ADR) junior driver Mohamed Al Mutawaa will be looking to put his circuit racing experience to good use when Round 4 of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) gets underway this weekend.
What is exciting the young Emirati driver is the fact that the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, taking place from August 18-21, is an all-asphalt challenge, where Al Mutawaa and co-driver Stephen McAuley finished fourth in the WRC3 category in 2013.
Al Mutawaa is aware of the challenges he faces in Germany, where he will be appearing for a fourth time, but the ADR junior driver is confident his Karting and GT racing experience on tarmac will come handy.
“I really love Rallye Deutschland. Tarmac is where I was brought up racing in karting and GT cars,” said Al Mutawaa, who will be behind a Citroen DS3 R3 Max.
“The challenges will be huge, but we are positive and looking for a great weekend of racing in Germany. Should we get our pace notes right, we will certainly challenge the leaders in front for honours. So we are looking forward for a great pace in Germany.”
Rallye Deutschland consists of 18 stages spanning 306km.
After finishing sixth in the opening race, Jones was unable to complete the second after his car suddenly speared straight on into the tyre barriers on lap 20 after previously being hit by team-mate Felix Serralles.
Although he was unscathed from the incident, the Dubai-based driver has now been overtaken by Santiago Urrutia following the Uruguayan’s double victory.
Jones, who had entered the round at the top of the championship standings, now trails Urrutia by 16 points with three races
remaining in the series.
Having been the quickest on both occasions, Urrutia was delighted with his latest performances. “I’m really happy for these two victories,” said the 20-year-old.
“It was great for me, for the team and for the championship. It was a much harder race today with the restarts and Felix pushing me very hard. I was able to use my push-to-pass and keep everyone behind me on the restarts.
“I didn’t expect to take the championship lead this weekend but I came here to win both races and we did that. The team did a great job with the car, it was so quick. But the series is so competitive and there are three long races to go.”
Jones and the drivers will now be back in action next month with the next round in New York on September 3.