No living soul could argue that Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and entertainment venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is the home of the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX. With motorsport as its pulse and an extensive year-round program of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Yas Drift Nights, Yas Drag and Yas Track Days, the circuit has also emerged as a thriving hub of entertainment and community events in the UAE. As the region’s most dynamic and technologically advanced facility, the circuit is also a leading MICE venue, regularly hosting a diverse range of corporate meetings, conferences and events. With the help of Al Tareq Al Ameri, the circuit’s CEO, we race through the updates and changes in this remarkable venue. So what is it like to be at the pinnacle of the pinnacle?
An action-packed 2014-2015 events calendar was announced recently at Yas Marina Circuit, with more racing at the heart of the action than ever before. With ‘Let’s Go Racing’ as the central theme of its busiest calendar to date, the TRD 86 Cup kicks off the racing action. Supported by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), this is the first race series organised by Yas Marina Circuit, and the TRD 86 Cup will run across six race days between December and April next year and provides a unique opportunity for competitors to lead their very own race team in real competition.
Part of the popular Yas Racing Series, the first ever, single-make championship to run at Yas Marina Circuit will see competitors receive their own, customised, race-ready Toyota 86 Cup car – theirs to keep.
Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO, believes the prospect of such accessible motor racing action at one of the world’s most iconic venues will make a significant contribution to the growth of local motorsports: “This is a chance for motorsports enthusiasts to get behind the wheel and enjoy the exhilaration of competitive racing on our world-class track. It is also a fantastic opportunity for fans and enthusiasts of the sport, offering them a route from spectating into actually participating”.
The biggest and most action-packed calendar that Yas Marina Circuit has ever launched should offer something to every tourist or resident to enjoy during the next 12 months.
The arrival of the Abu Dhabi Rally on 16th and 17th October 2015 will present another racing first. The rally will be held on the North Handling Track at Yas Marina Circuit and this candidate event for the 2015 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) further reinforces Yas Marina Circuit’s 360-degree motor racing proposition and is a welcome addition to its racing calendar.
Continuing the high-octane racing theme, the Ferrari World Finals will take place on December 8th and 9th. The race represents a huge coup for the region and will be the first time this prestigious event has been held in the Middle East. The Ferrari World Finals promises to be the biggest motorsport event outside of the F1 weekend as 150 Ferraris driven by Formula 1 drivers and racing enthusiasts will take part in this thrilling racing spectacle.
Other significant motorsports events include the return of the Gulf 12 Hour. Held between the 11th and 13th December, the event, now in its second year, will see a significant increase in the grid size and the 2014 edition will also include races from Maserati and Audi racing.
Shifts in the process
Yas Marina Circuit’s already extensive motor racing experience retail portfolio has been widened with the inclusion of Taxi Drift, Drift Sprint and the YAS Super Street Challenge, and motorcycle enthusiasts will also be able to join in the racing action as the circuit introduces Bike Track Days to help build a thriving bike racing community.
‘Let’s Go Racing’ doesn’t only apply to motorsports at Yas Marina Circuit. The spirit of competition runs through its extensive community health and fitness initiatives too. There will be the chance to test yourself at the circuit’s regular weekly fitness events – TrainYAS, held on a Tuesday nights and GoYAS, held on Wednesday evenings, both sponsored by Daman’s Activelife – or sign up to race against the UAE’s best athletes at Urbanathlon, the toughest 10-kilometre obstacle course the region has seen, taking place at the circuit on 24th October also sponsored by Daman’s Activelife.
The race to improve lifestyle habits and raise awareness of diabetes continues with the popular Walk event, taking place on 7th November, with up to 20,000 people expected to attend and walk the 5-kilometre track this year.
The ADNIC Yas Run on 16th January and TriYAS by Daman’s Activelife on 20th February also offer more opportunities to go flat out and beat your personal best, while the Zayed Marathon on 27th February and the Colour Run by Daman’s Activelife on 27th March offer varying levels of competition to both the serious and casual runner.
“The biggest and most action-packed calendar that Yas Marina Circuit has ever launched should offer something to every tourist or resident to enjoy during the next 12 months,” Al Tareq Al Ameri notes. “Whether you are a motorsport enthusiast, or enjoy unique fitness challenges, we will offer you the biggest and best opportunities in the region. The team at ADMM hope to see you all there – let’s go racing.”
Yas Marina Circuit has also recently announced the launch of its new YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. Available now to download for free from the Apple and Google Play Android stores, YasHUB is a one-stop-guide for racegoers to the 2014 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX and will cover everything you need to know during the next three months, right up to the race weekend itself.
Putting users right at the heart of the Formula 1 conversation, YasHUB keeps you in the know on the latest news from drivers, teams and the circuit, as well as offering a completely bespoke, personalised experience and provides comprehensive solutions to every aspect of this globally renowned motorsport and entertainment weekend.
As anticipation builds and the race countdown continues, the app allows you to keep track of all the latest Formula 1 news every day. As each exciting story breaks, YasHUB brings these latest headlines on F1 and motorsports from some of the leading voices in the sport directly to your smartphone or tablet. You can also follow the drama of the driver and constructor battles along with the race results, as well as all the stats you need on constructor and driver standings.
Using the built-in ticket selector, racegoers can tailor their own ticketing package from a wide range of available options, from choice of seating, food and beverages and entertainment all the way through to Paddock or VIP access options, ensuring that each user buys the perfect ticket for them.
Additionally, your Formula 1® Weekend is your guide to everything happening on Yas Island during the race weekend. This section of YasHUB will keep you up to date on the latest news including full event schedules, competitions, autograph signing sessions, full entertainment line-ups and much more. Whatever you need to know, the app has got you covered.
“YasHUB is a first for any Formula 1 promoter. Being one of the most technologically advanced circuits in the world, it’s important that we are leading in customer engagement and digital publishing. Constant improvement of racegoers’ experiences is at the heart of what we do and YasHUB takes this to the next level. Everything needed to maximise their enjoyment of the sport and the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is available at the touch of a button”, says the CEO.
Circuit Length: 5.554kms
Race Distance: 305.470 km
Number of Laps: 55
Lap Record: 1:40.279, set by Sebastian Vettel in 2009
Circuit Turns: 21
Circuit Direction: counter-clockwise
Stadium Capacity: 60,000
Opened: October 2009
Construction cost: £800 million, $1.322 billion, €893 million
Architect: Hermann Tilke
Major events: FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, GP2 Asia Series, V8 Supercars, Drag Racing, GT1 World, Gulf 12 Hours.