RACE CIRCUIT: Sharjah - UAE RACE DATES: December 2002 (Subject to FIA approval)

The Government of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, has announced that it is preparing to host the first major motor racing circuit-based event to take place in the Middle East.

The statement by Sheikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qassimi, of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, ends years of speculation and rumour as to which Middle East State will be the first to lead the way into the professional circuit-based motor racing arena. Sheikh Tariq confirmed that his Government were very excited about the plans to host the regions biggest motor racing event and that they are looking forward to promoting their fast developing trade and tourism industry via this progressive and hi-tec sport.

It is intended that the first event will be held in December 2002 subject to FIA approvals and follows the initiative of British businessmen Paul Berger and Clive Bowen of Middle East Racing Service Ltd. (MERS). The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority have undertaken to underwrite the cost of hosting the event. Paul Berger is currently best known for his 24-hour kart events held within the region and supported by the likes of Damon Hill.

Radical ideas will be incorporated into the 2.8 km street circuit, designed by WSR (West Surrey Racing), to promote overtaking and close, exciting racing, which will be held against a back-drop of impressive modern buildings and (Monaco-style) boats moored in the Gulf connected lagoon.

Motor Race Consultants Ltd, who are also involved in the project, will be bringing the Formula Three 'Circus' from Macau and Korea as the feature race, The Sharjah F3 Superprix, whilst a strong motor manufacturer involvement is being negotiated for a partnership in the project and to provide a basis for the main supporting race. A full supporting programme is being sought to provide a balanced spectacle for what is expected to become one of the most important Sporting Events in the Region.

Further information with respect to the circuit and an unusual event format will be made available shortly.