Emirati driver wants more UAE companies to follow sponsorship example of Daman, EMAL
Abu Dhabi, UAE - Khaled Al Qubaisi is hoping that a record-breaking third consecutive victory in next month’s Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai will help Abu Dhabi Racing secure more backing for its drive to take a new generation of Emirati drivers to the top in motor sport.
Now chasing a hat-trick of wins in the event which forms the opening round of the 2014 24H Series at Dubai Autodrome on 10-11 January, Al Qubaisi wants more UAE companies to follow the example of Daman and Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) in putting their weight behind UAE motor sport.
“We have shown what we are capable of, and I’d like to see more support locally for what we’re doing, and for UAE motor sport in general,” said Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Racing, which launched the Daman Speed Academy in conjunction with the National Health Insurance Company in October.
“The government has invested a huge amount of money in the sport, building the best race circuit in the world at Yas Marina, and also supporting Abu Dhabi Racing in our efforts to create more opportunities for young Emirati drivers in international motor sport.
“Our partnership with Daman allowed us to set up the Speed Academy which has the ultimate goal of putting an Emirati into Formula One. EMAL’s support made it possible for me to become the first UAE driver to compete at Le Mans earlier this year.
“I want many more Emirati drivers to follow me into the international arena, and to make that possible, it’s vital that we get more sponsorship, both from quasi-government organisations and the private sector.”
Al Qubaisi created two more records in the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit earlier this month, becoming the first Emirati to start from pole position in the race, and the first to be part of a winning team.
The triumphant Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon line-up of Al Qubaisi, Germany’s Bernd Schneider and Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen will be joined by Andreas Simonsen Pro Am category winner in this years' FIA GT series and overall winner in Slovakia in the lead Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 for next month’s Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai. The driver line-up for a second car will be confirmed shortly.
A formidable entry list means they will be tested to the limit, with former winners Saudi Falcons entering two powerful BMW Z4 GT3s, and a host of other Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini challengers also in action.
Among the top drivers Al Qubaisi will be aiming to outpace, as he did in the Gulf 12 Hours, will be Le Mans winner Guy Smith and world touring car champion Rob Huff .