Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and TRD 86 Cup prominent dates in Yas Marina Circuit 2015/16 calendar
Formula One and the second season of the TRD 86 Cup are the focus of the motorsport schedule at the Abu Dhabi venue in the coming winter of action.
The highlight of the Yas Marina itinerary will be the seventh staging of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place on November 29 and is the final round of the 2015 Formula One season. The event is expected to continue its run of selling all tickets for the event before the race weekend, with all ready some packages, such as three-day passes for general admission on the Abu Dhabi Hill having already sold out.
Later 2016 date
This year’s grand prix at Yas Marina is the latest that it has ever been held in the year. There is speculation for 2016 that the F1 season could end in December due to the season expanding to 21 races. Al Tareq Al Ameri, the chief executive of Yas Marina, hopes Abu Dhabi keep their provisional November 27 date and said: “Nothing has been fixed at the moment, we’re waiting for the official release. But to me it is a bit tricky. I think we need to stay away from the December season, or the end of December, as I think people’s mentality is family, festivity and activities.”
The 2014/15 season saw the introduction of the TRD Cup 86 series, pictured, where amateur racers can compete against professional drivers in a Toyota GT86 car, which is the same specification for all the field to encourage a level playing field. The championship will again take place this year, with six meetings, comprising 12 races, between October and April.
At least 12 cars are expected on the grid this season, with entrance costing Dh177,000, which includes the purchase of the race car, training and track support. This year will see the competition split into two categories, gold for experienced racers and silver for beginners. A third of last year’s field were Emirati and Al Ameri said: “It is very affordable and we have seen a number of young Emiratis come on board. They are not professionals but someone of them gave the professionals a run for their money.”
Other motorsport action ahead at Yas Marina includes the Gulf 12 Hours endurance race between December 9-11, the Yas Super Street Challenge drag racing competition starts in January, and March 9-10 will see a round of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge karting series in action at the facility.
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Updated: September 30, 2015 04:00 AM