GulfSport Racing’s acclaimed young driver development championship continues with a busy two day program on the technical 3.56kms National Circuit this weekend.
Formula Gulf Academy has attracted more than 50 professional young drivers from around the world over the previous six seasons. This week will see four ambitious youngsters, all of whom will be flying with Emirates airline to Dubai, drive their identical Ralph Firman built 186bhp 12,400 rpm slicks and wings racing cars under the expert tutelage of professional driver coach Andy Pardoe, performance engineer Martin Hope and fitness coach Frederic Jacobs.
Thailand’s Kane Shepherd showed great skill and speed when testing at Yas Circuit recently and is likely to set the pace on the Dubai circuit on Friday. Kane is only 16 years of age but with many kart racing championships behind him and a few SEA F4 races under his belt, he is expected to do what several previous Academy drivers have been able to do, and that is to move straight into an F3 car next season.
15 year old Filip Kaminiarz, one of Poland’s most promising young drivers competed in the KIA LOTOS RACE series before enrolling in the 2017 Formula Gulf Academy program. He also had a valuable weekend on the Yas Circuit getting to grips with a very different car than he was used to - a lightweight single seater with aerodynamics and a six speed sequential gearbox - but on day two made huge progress and put in some very respectable lap times.
Bahrain’s Talal Beshara, who finished in 2nd place in the FIA’s GCC Young Driver Academy in May will be joining the program this weekend to help develop his car racing skills and will be driving the Formula Gulf car for the first time. Talal has an impressive kart racing record and with support from Bahrain would make a great Ambassador for the Kingdom as he progresses with an international racing career. Talal is just 16 years of age.
Student and Formula Ford specialist James Scott-Murphy will be flying from Lincoln, England to gain experience of a fast single seater, but this time with aero. James, now 18 years of age was awarded the ‘Best Newcomer Award’ by the BRSCC for his performances in the 2016 Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 series last year.
Local young hopeful, 15 year old Tara Eichenberger, who showed great promise at the Yas Marina pre-season testing will not be competing at this event.
With practise on the Thursday afternoon and quali and two races on Friday, you are most welcome to come say hi to the drivers and team - entrance is free of charge.