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This Saudi Woman is All Set to Make History as the First Female Racer from the Kingdom

Although Saudi Arabia lifted the decades-long ban on women driving just last year in a landmark decree by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, this young female driver is already zooming into history as the first Saudi woman to competitively race in KSA this November.  

Local fans will soon catch her (if they can) speeding around Diriyah Circuit in an electric racecar at the end of the month. After making her racing debut in October 2018, Reema Juffali will compete in her home turf for the first time as a VIP driver during the opening weekend of international racing series the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the official support race for the FIA Formula E Championship at UNESCO heritage site Ad Diriyah. 

“The Diriyah Circuit has become the home of watershed moments for the Kingdom,” Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, told the Saudi Gazette. “We saw the first female drivers here last year, the first unsegregated concerts, and of course it was the first time that Formula E and the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy had raced in Saudi Arabia.”

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As the Kingdom’s first female professional race car driver and one of three women in the GCC with a race license, Juffali began competing in two-seater races before advancing to single-seater in various global races, including the F4 Championship in the UK and MRF Challenge in India. Within the region, Juffali garnered recognition after her cockpit debut in the TRD 86 Cup at Yas Marina Circuit, where she took home second in the silver category and fourth overall.

Juffali joins the ranks of other Arab women shattering glass ceilings and defying gender stereotypes in the motorsport world, including Amna Al Qubaisi, the first female Emirati race car driver, Noor Daoud, the first female drift racer in the Middle East, and Nahla Al-Rostamani, the UAE’s first female F3 driver. 

“I have lots of ground to cover before I can compete against the best,” Juffali said in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year.“But that’s the goal, to race at the top levels of motorsport.”

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