Gulf News

‘We want a UAE driver in the championsh­ip’

Speedcar GM Lamonerie keen on a local hero

- BY ALARIC GOMES Staff Reporter

Organisers of the new Speedcar Series want to adapt the championsh­ip as much as possible.

“To start with, we want to ensure we will have a driver from the UAE taking part in this championsh­ip,” Benoit Lamonerie, general manager of the Speedcar Series told Gulf News during the testing session for the cars at the Dubai Autodrome yesterday.

“We are in the process of training one of the HSBC Academy drivers to race in this series. However, he does not know that he is being prepared to take up this responsibi­lity,” Lamonerie said.

Organisers of the championsh­ip, Speedcar Series Limited, aim to deliver nonstop entertaini­ng and excitement running the new stock car championsh­ip, featuring 18 races from November until April next year.

The Speedcar Series will have 24 identical 600bhp cars, of which eight drivers will be hand-picked while the remaining 16 will have to put up the required amount to be part of the contest.

“The cars look good, they are big, loud, noisy, exciting and they will bring in a good mix of drivers drawing attention from a crosssecti­on of spectators,” Lamonerie said.

“And the amount of $550,000 (Dh2 million) that each driver needs to bring in as guarantee is not big in motorsport­s.”

Bridging a void

The aim, the general manager, said is to bridge the existing void in the Middle East and Asia. “Come to think of it, there is nothing exciting happening in motorsport­s between China and the Middle East. A series like this one will definitely take motor racing to a new level.”

Racing fans in Dubai have shown a lukewarm response to the sport, despite some of the top racing personalit­ies descending on Dubai in the past.

“The GT Challenge and A1 Grand Prix have been good for the spread and interest in the sport. But I think the Speedcar series is the answer to solving all the lack of attendance that we’ve had so far,” Lamonerie said. “And of course the key to success will be to have our very own UAE driver.”

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