A drag racing festival is among the events planned by Yas Marina Circuit (YMC) for this year's schedule as they seek to continue developing interest in motorsport by building on the success of last year's Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix. This year's Grand Prix takes place on November 14, but before then four international events are to take place. Spearheading the action on Yas Island in the first half of the year is the International Drag Racing Festival between March 19-20, which will be held at the circuit's newly-constructed Yas Marina Circuit Drag Race Centre and will see drag teams from the UAE compete for prize money of about Dh375,000.
The YMC chief executive, Richard Cregan, is confident the even will be a success and said: "It is an amazing experience. "They travel from a standing start to 100mph in eight tenths of a second. I believe the centre is going to be a great centre of excellence and a world-class facility." The GP2 Asia series (Feb 5-6) and the Australian V8 Supercars (Feb 19-20) take place next month and the FIA GI1 international sportscar series will take place in April. Cregan added the calendar was designed to increase global interest in the track and in Abu Dhabi.
"We have the GP2 Asia series that has had a big impact on the Asian region and a big impact in Europe and television and viewers," he said. "The Supercars are obviously very big in Australia and New Zealand and has a very big fan market and the drag festival is very much focused on the American market and creating awareness for us in the states itself. "We're trying to use this to create awareness for Yas Marina Circuit and, in particular, for Abu Dhabi so that Abu Dhabi becomes a destination of choice for business and leisure and for motorsport."