Earlier this month, the Emirates Motorsports Organisation (EMSO) held the first-ever Greenpower electric car race in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Asian Motorsport reviews this historic event and what it means for the region.

By Nida Anis

Organised by Pole Position with the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure as its strategic partner, the inaugural Greenpower UAE Grand Prix was held at Karting Town in Sharjah. The race marked the climax of months of hard work by 11-16-year-old students from 11 different schools, who developed their understanding of EV technology through designing their cars’ bodywork and sourcing sustainable materials.

The Greenpower STEM Education Programme is a key part of EMSO’s sustainability framework, which has already earned FIA 3-star accreditation – the highest level in the FIA’s Environmental Accreditation Programme. 10 of the 11 schools that took part in this year’s edition were Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) schools, with approximately 40% of its participants being female.

Dubai American Academy came out on top during the one-hour race, with Jess School and Wellington Academy Dubai Hills taking second and third place respectively. The Millenium School Dubai received the Sustainability Award for their innovative approach to the competition. Saif Ghubash Almarri, Assistant Undersecretary for Petroleum, Gas, and Mineral Resources at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, presented the trophies.

Almarri: “We are proud to see this level of innovation”

Commenting on the programme, Almarri said, “We are proud to see this level of innovation from the children and applaud Pole Position and the participating schools for making this event possible. Such initiatives empower the next generation of innovations and give us hope of a better tomorrow.

“We are pleased to support the Greenpower Programme and hope to see the next editions soon. We encourage more schools to participate and be at the forefront of the wider community engagement in driving sustainability across the board.”

Pole Position Founder & CEO Ryan Trutch added, “In my 35 years of being involved in UAE motorsports, I have created some thrilling events and been part of major milestones in the UAE, but never have I seen as much excitement, team spirit, and enthusiasm as these schools brought to Karting Town for the final.

“I’m very proud that we have enabled these schools and children to participate in Greenpower in the UAE,” he continued. “I wish this had been in my school when I was a teenager, and I only hope to increase participation and bring the thrill of engineering and sustainable motorsports to many more children in the UAE.”

The CEO of EMSO, Mahir Badri, also spoke positively about the event. “This edition of the Greenpower programme served as a powerful reminder of just how important these initiatives are to the grassroot levels of the UAE, something that is at the heart of the EMSO’s work.

“To witness the enthusiasm and innovation from these young people was amazing, and for it all to be geared towards a more sustainable version of the sport makes us excited for the future.

“We hope to see some of those taking part go on to forge careers in engineering as more and more schools participate in this stimulating programme.”

Header photo credit: FIA

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