Yas opens for amateur drag racing this weekend
ABU DHABI // Fifty of the UAE’s best street racers will go head-to-head across five entry categories of heart-pumping drag racing action at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
The first round of the open-entry Yas Super Street Challenge will take place on a drag strip on Thursday and Friday. It will decide who is the quickest off the line and who will be crowned king of the street.
To encourage grassroots motorsport activity in the country, Yas Marina Circuit is offering would-be drag kings the chance to participate for Dh400.
Cash prizes ranging from Dh5,000 for third place, Dh10,000 for second and Dh15,000 for first place are up for grabs.
Support crew members can access the pit lane for Dh100, making the Yas Super Street Challenge affordable in a professional-racing environment.
Spectators can watch for Dh50. Students with valid IDs will pay Dh30.
In addition to the on-track action, there will be a live DJ and a wide range of on-site food and beverage options.
At Dh250, VIP tickets are also available for the best seats in the house, the paddock area and hospitality suites.
“We are extremely excited to be hosting the first round of this street-focused racing event this weekend,” said Al Tareq Al Ameri, the chief executive of Yas Marina Circuit. “We are very passionate about racing, in whatever form that may be, and I am very proud that we are engaging with such a group of like-minded people here in the UAE.
“This type of racing has developed a massive underground following and bringing it to the home of Formula One makes perfect sense. Yas Marina Circuit is the envy of the world and we are very pleased to offer amateur drag racers the opportunity to test themselves and their vehicles at this superb motorsport facility.”
Thomas Edelmann, the founder of Road Safety UAE, said drag racing belonged on the strip, not the streets. “Speeding is always among the top 10 reasons why people die on the UAE’s roads,” he said. “Speeding not only causes dangers to motorists but also to other traffic participants.”
In March last year, Abu Dhabi Police announced the opening of a new racing track at Yas Marina Circuit that was reserved for speedsters to enable them to practice their hobby in a safe, regulated environment.
The circuit is part of police efforts to contain illegal drag racing, considered “a negative and dangerous phenomenon on UAE roads”, according to Brig Gen Hussein Al Harethi, the head of traffic police in Abu Dhabi
“When Niki Lauda, a three-time Formula One world champion, decided to endorse our platform, Road Safety UAE, last year, he clearly said people who have the urge to race must use one of the two UAE race tracks – the Dubai Autrodrome or Yas Marina,” Mr Edelmann said.
“Safety must be the clear No 1 priority when we are driving on the UAE’s roads. Every responsible driver must eliminate potential risks to themselves and to other traffic participants. The message is clear – the roads are no racing grounds.”
Updated: January 6, 2015 04:00 AM