Five months have passed since the landmark decree of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud brought Saudi women into the driver’s seat, and now, several female race-car drivers will participate in a Formula E test session in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The test is set to happen after the opening round of the 2018-19 season, the Ad Diriyah ePrix taking place in Riyadh on December 16, and Emirati race-car driver Amna Al Qubaisi is among the seven women taking part.
Also known as the first Arab female to participate in Formula 4, Al Qubaisi will drive for the Envision Virgin Racing team to become the first Arab female driver to test a Formula E car when she gets behind the wheel next month in KSA. “I’m very proud to be representing women in general and Arabian women in particular,” she said in a statement, according to Reuters. “This test drive is another stepping-stone towards my dream of a professional career in motorsports.” The driver is set to take the wheel of the the all-electric Audi Sport FE05. “It has always been something that I wanted to do, driving the fully-electric Formula E car, the feel of instant and impressive power from the get-go,” she added.
The 18-year-old driver was also the first Emirati woman to win the UAE’s senior Rotax Max Challenge karting series in 2017. Al Qubaisi started driving when she was 14, following in the footsteps of her father, Khaled Al Qubaisi, the first Emirati to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Her 16-year-old sister Hamda is also a racer – she’s a rising karting star in the UAE who has already achieved 13 podiums.
Formula E is an auto racing series that uses only electric-powered cars and that launched in 2014 in Beijing. The other women competing include Sauber Formula One test driver Tatiana Calderon, British Formula 3 winner Jamie Chadwick, Supercars driver Simona de Silvestro, BMW Motorsport’s Beitske Visser, IMSA driver Katherine Legge, and former Lotus F1 development driver Carmen Jorda.