Reema Juffali will make history when she becomes the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in an international race series event when she takes the wheel of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy in Riyadh.
27-year old Juffali has been awarded a VIP drive for the I-Pace eTrophy’s inaugural round on November 23 and 24 in the support series to Formula E’s 2019 Ad Diriyah ePrix.
But this is a controversial choice in her home country as Saudi Arabian women have only been able to drive in the gulf state for the past 17 months.
In a video released on social media, she said: “To be the first Saudi woman to drive in an international race series back home is something I never imagined.”
“It wasn’t until June 2018 when a woman was allowed to drive on the road in Saudi Arabia. Being behind the wheel felt a bit weird in the beginning, especially younger kids when they see a woman behind the wheel they will look up and be like [open-mouthed]. It is like you are a celebrity or something special.”
She has already made a name for herself by competing on the international stage, having just finished a season of racing in the British Formula 4 Championship, where she showed herself to be strong and consistent competitor throughout the season in a country she had not been to before.
Now she has the opportunity of a lifetime by becoming the first Saudi woman to compete in an international racing series on her home turf on the streets of Riyadh in the opening two Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy races.
Juffali will join fellow female racer Alice Powell on the grid as the Formula E support series enters its second season. And after a strong showing last season, Powell has been given a full-time drive with Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Team Germany.
Juffali will be determined to follow in the footsteps of someone like Powell, who has made her mark in motorsport the hard way. But what Juffali will do simply by competing in the I-Pace eTrophy is make history in more ways than one…