Emirati talent among five drivers selected from Yas Heat ESports Open Trials Programme

(Supplied photo)
(Supplied photo)

Abu Dhabi - The Open Trials programme was created in order to provide aspiring esports racing stars with the opportunity to learn, grow and develop

By Team KT

Published: Thu 11 Feb 2021, 2:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Feb 2021, 3:04 PM

Yas Heat ESports has announced the five drivers who have been selected from the Open Trials programme, with the youngsters now set to go on and perform for the team on the global stage in 2021.

The line up includes an Emirati Khalifa Alqubaisi, who turned his attention to sim racing in 2017 having enjoyed significant success in karting, including winning the Emirati School Karting Championship on two separate occasions and becoming YAS Kartzone Sprint Race Champion.

Since making the switch to esports, the 16-year-old has continued to flourish, finishing as runner up in both the GCC Category 6HR Endurance Race and the 2020 EMSO GT Championship on Playstation 4.

Joining Alqubaisi in progressing from the Open Trials programme are Gran Turismo drivers Karl Etyemezian and Hazem Zaki, from Lebanon and Egypt respectively, Assetto Corsa Competizione racer Mohammed Akram, another Egyptian, and iRacing specialist Yashish Manohar, who hails from India.

The Yas Heat ESports Open Trials programme was created in order to provide aspiring esports racing stars from across the Mena region with the opportunity to learn, grow and develop, with the overall target of competing as part of Yas Heat ESports in high-level competition.

There were over 1,000 applications for the programme, with 32 shortlisted to go through to the trials process, where they took part in a weekly time trial challenge. The group was whittled down to six finalists, which eventually became five, with the selected participants taking part in light-hearted and fun interviews with Yas Heat ESports ambassador and Assetto Corsa driver ‘Jardier’ in order to showcase their respective personalities to the judging panel.

Having launched in August 2020, Yas Heat ESports competed in the inaugural season of the V10 R League against some of the biggest names in motorsport, including Red Bull Racing, BMW, Williams and Porsche24 Redline.

The first season of the competition was a huge success, with broadcast rights picked up globally by StarzPlay Arabia, ESPN and BT Sport.

The V10 R League is one of the most widely syndicated esports competitions, with coverage reaching up to 75 countries worldwide.

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