Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, Mohammad Bin Sulayem and Ahmed Al Kaabi at the Yas Marina Circuit during the official launch of its 2016/17 calendar. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit, in partnership with Automobile & Touring Club UAE (ATCUAE), on Tuesday announced it will be the official home of the brand-new Formula 4 UAE Championship, due to debut at the Formula One circuit on Friday, October 28.

The announcement was made at Yas Marina Circuit’s official 2016-2017 Calendar Launch. This year will be the circuit’s most comprehensive calendar of local motorsport, fitness, corporate entertainment, and driving and passenger experiences since 2009, with more than 377 activities scheduled over the next 12 months.

“We have launched a comprehensive calendar of events and programmes, providing everyone in the UAE with an active and varied choice that underlines the circuit’s multi-purpose role within the community, said Al Tareq Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit.

The FIA-accredited Formula 4 UAE championship is one of the most important additions to the UAE’s local motorsport calendar this year and is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.

It consists of a series of 18 rounds run over six separate weekends – the majority of which will take place at Yas Marina Circuit. Open to drivers aged 15 years and above, the new championship was created by motorsport world governing body FIA to help local drivers in the UAE bridge the gap between existing regional racing series and European competition and potentially Formula One.

Running from October 28 through to April 22, the new racing season will also feature the debut of the new Ferrari MEA series.

The perennial favourites will return as the circuit welcomes the TRD 86 Cup for its third consecutive season. Supported once again by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the TRD 86 Cup is a single-make, sustainable local motorsport initiative introduced by Yas Marina Circuit to enable amateur racers to drive in a professional, competitive environment.

Part of the popular four-round Yas Racing Series, the TRD 86 Cup will also feature alongside the Middle East Radical Cup, FG1000, NGK Racing Series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and UAE Time Attack. New for Yas Racing Series 2016-17 is the Lamborghini Trofeo and TCR Middle East championship.

Yas Super Street Challenge, Yas Marina Circuit’s local urban racing competition, will be back with bigger and better prizes across five categories over four rounds, starting on January 19-20.

Continuing with professional racing, the fourth edition of the Gulf 12 Hours endurance race is back on December 16. Spectators are promised a full day of racing action as the world’s leading manufacturers battle it out in one of the most exciting race days in the regional calendar.

Karting enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that March 18 will see the return of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge at the circuit, part of the build-up to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals that will see more than 260 drivers from 60 countries participating across three categories.

For those looking for white-knuckle thrills behind the wheel, Yas Marina Circuit also continues an expanded DriveYAS programme – the most flexible way to enjoy the wide range of driving experiences available, organisers say – as well as welcoming Jaguar as a new experience partner.

Whether you want to test yourself against the track in a Jaguar F-TYPE, feel the raw power of a Mercedes AMG, beat the clock in a Chevrolet SS drag racer, or lay down some rubber in a Drift car, now you can turn up and fulfill your driving dreams on selected days.

With DriveYAS, Yas Marina Circuit offers a whole range of ‘arrive and drive’ experiences in one value package, and offers special packages across multiple experiences.

Yas Marina Circuit hasn’t forgotten about the thriving motorbike community and local car enthusiasts, either. Bike Track Days and Track Days are regularly scheduled in the next seven months, giving amateurs the chance to take the racing line on the venue for November’s Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

This calendar season Yas Marina Circuit will also become the home of eSports in the UAE as it partners with the Middle East region’s leading eSports organisation Power League Gaming (PLG) to host a number of high-profile gaming events at the Yas Events Centre.

Both Activision’s Call of Duty World League (CWL), and Electronic Arts (EA) FIFA franchise events underline a new partnership with Power League Gaming that is set to grow talent in the region.

And with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fast approaching, Yas Marina Circuit is heading for another sell-out weekend on November 25-27 following on from last week’s announcement that global superstar Lionel Richie will entertain racegoers on Saturday, November 26, alongside The Chemical Brothers (Friday) and Rihanna (Sunday).

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix offers the best value yet with tickets, organisers say, providing access to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Water World, as well as a world-class line-up of after-race concerts.

Some ticket categories have already sold out and with limited availability across many remaining ticket types; Yas Marina Circuit encourages fans to go to www.yasmarinacircuit.com to avoid disappointment.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or prefer to exercise at your own level, Yas Marina Circuit’s enhanced line-up of health and fitness events provides something for everyone.

Welcoming more than 200,000 health and fitness visits last year, another jam-packed event programme is promised with its weekly StartYAS, TrainYAS and GoYAS by ActiveLife – Daman providing an excellent training programme for the new six-month triathlon calendar, which offers more opportunities to test yourself to the limit.

TriYAS by ActiveLife - Daman will return on February 17 and the international ITU World Triathlon Series will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 3 and 4.

Open to all ages and ability levels, the Zayed Marathon returns on March 18, offering a fun and challenging course for total beginners or elite runners alike.

Abu Dhabi’s health and fitness communities will be able to keep up to date and be inspired by the new #Last1k blog that provides connection with other UAE-based athletes.

There’s exciting news for cycling fans, too, as they will be able to get up close and personal with leading personalities from the sport as the Abu Dhabi Tour comes to the circuit on October 23 and February 26.

Families will be able to mark the 45th UAE National Day with a weekend of heritage-led activities taking place at the Circuit on Friday, December 2. Live entertainment for all ages will bring the whole family closer together on this special day.

For more information on the wide range of activities and events, please visit: www.yasmarinacircuit.com.

To join the Yas Marina Circuit 2016-2017 Calendar on social media, please use the #YasCalendar hashtag and visit:

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