Young Emirati drivers sign up for Abu Dhabi Racing

Mohammed Al Mutawaa, left, and Mohammed Al Sahlawi, right, pose with Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi. Courtesy of World Rally Championship
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Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Mohammed Al Sahlawi will receive valuable experience on the elite level of rally racing when they drive the Abu Dhabi Racing team’s Citroens in upcoming World Rally Championship races in Europe.

The plan

“This is part of our mission to provide many more opportunities for young Emirati drivers in international motorsport,” said Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, who competes on the WRC circuit and engineered a five-year deal with Citroen.

Backgrounds

Al Mutawaa, a former karting driver from Ras Al Khaimah, in 2007 was chosen from 700 drivers to represent the UAE in the HSBC Racing Academy and has raced many types of cars. Al Sahlawi – pictured far right with Sheikh Khalid, centre, and Al Mutawaa – from Dubai, has a background in karting and desert driving in a truck he built himself.

Schedule issues The WRC push comes after uncertainties surrounding two races on the Middle East calendar, in Lebanon next month and in Cyprus in October. Sheikh Khalid said: "The best solution was to give the two young guys some WRC experience."

Rallye Deutschland Al Mutawaa will race in the WRC event in Germany this weekend, with his Irish co-driver, Stephen McAuley. Sheikh Khalid will also drive. He said it was not possible to get both young drivers into the Germany race.

Rally Spain Al Sahlawi will make his debut, with Irish co-driver Allan Harryman, in October, at Rally Spain, the WRC's penultimate event. Sheikh Khalid also with drive. Said Al Qassimi: "They must make the most of it."