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Launch of First Motorsport Management Company in Middle East

Monday 22nd April 2013

A trio of young motorsport entrepreneurs launched what appears to be the first company in the region dedicated to motorsport; Middle East Motorsports (MEM) was launched at a press conference in Lebanon last week.

Khalil Beschir, former A1GP racing driver, Hrag Sarkissian, motorsport enthusiast and Shahan Sarkissian, Formula Renault UK driver, are the founders of this ground-breaking motorsports company which is committed to providing a professional service to the Arab world.

The company will focus on driver management and development, and education. MEM has already started working with several young Middle Eastern and International drivers and will be actively seeking and helping new talents.

MEM offers a range of services for its drivers, ranging from career advice and opportunities, to skills development, contract negotiations and professional guidance to assisting them in their motorsport activities. MEM is keen to introduce drivers to single-seater racing in a safe environment. To support this, they have designed and built a professional racing simulator that will be based in Lebanon allowing previously inaccessible testing and training for new drivers or for drivers wanting additional practice time on ‘local’ soil.

“It is one of the key tools for progression and analysis outside the race track” says Hrag. There are currently no existing facilities, teams, cars, or tracks for drivers to practice or simply test. This is as good as it gets.” Drivers in the region are able to immerse themselves to race, learn or practice on internationally renowned tracks.

Beschir explains “We have set up MEM to give Arab drivers a local ‘one stop shop’ that has tremendous international experience in the motorsport industry. Backed by strong expertise and affiliations, MEM is able to provide clients with the best advice, the highest quality of training and mentoring, as well as the practical support and guidance drivers required to succeed in their motor racing career. We are very eager to work with young talents and guide them to success.

”The education element of the company’s focus is just as important to the founders. MEM is committed to promoting the opportunities which motorsport offers as a career, both within the Arab world and further afield. The company has strong affiliations with the best universities and colleges in the UK, which, being the ‘home of motorsport’ is the centre of the industry. From mechanic certificate courses to engineering degrees, MEM can advise and guide prospective students in their careers.

Beschir adds, “From helping students to select the right motorsport-linked course, to guidance with employment opportunities, MEM is perfectly placed to help Arab youth fulfil their ambitions.

”In addition to driver management and education, the company is very much emphasizing on awareness. Shahan Sarkissian explained, “As enthusiasts, we will be working to promote motorsport in the region through dedicated features such as road shows, festivals, competitions for motorsport fans and drivers and much more. We will also be holding road safety campaigns as we believe safety is by far the most important aspect in motorsports. Our goal is to involve and educate individuals about motorsports and to render a strong existing passion in the Arab world truly accessible to the people.”

Hrag Sarkissian adds, “We will also be providing hospitality services for motorsport enthusiasts. We have affiliations with the best companies in Formula One hospitality allowing us to customize and offer world class VIP package: from private flight charters, to yacht hires to paddock or pit access, we are able to accommodate a range of requests. Aside Formula 1, the same services are available for other motorsport events such as World Rallying, Le Mans, sportscar and single-seater racing. At the press conference, MEM also announced the introduction of F1 in Schools in Lebanon. This initiative, the largest global educational programme, operates in over 40 countries and offers high school students a unique first-hand involvement in motorsports.

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